Natural Water Infrastructure


Wetlands such as rivers, streams, swamps, lakes, and estuaries play a critical role in supplying and regulating water quantity and quality. Conserving and restoring this natural water infrastructure is a cost-effective investment strategy to increase water security for vulnerable cities and rural communities.

The problem

We all depend on water – people, business and ecosystems. At the same time, people and business also impact water, creating problems of water scarcity, excessive floods and pollution. We use it, waste it and degrade it without realising its true value.

Growing demand and competition for freshwater for human consumption, food and energy production will be one of the biggest global challenges - environmental, economic, security - as scarcity increases in the coming years. Wetlands and other aquatic ecosystems are rapidly being degraded as a result.

What we do

Wisely using wetlands is essential for delivering water security solutions and sustainable water management. Wetlands provide natural water infrastructure that delivers a wider range of services and benefits than corresponding manmade infrastructure such as dams and dykes. Wetlands provide food and water, reduce flood risk  and drought by regulating the water cycle and increase resilience to storms in deltas and coastal areas.

We protect, restore and demonstrate the cost-effective management of wetlands as natural water infrastructure around the world. We work to:

Video

River Talk Series: with Matthew Reddy, International RiverFoundation

Jane Madgwick sits down with Matthew Reddy, CEO of the International RiverFoundation to discuss the process and prestige of the 1st European Riverprize and the prospects for regional awards in the global south. This is one of the seven River Talk videos recorded at the European River Restoration Conference. For mo... Read more

Featured event

European River Restoration Conference

This event showcased inspiring examples of river restoration and brought together key policy makers and restoration practitioners from 11-13 September 2013 in Vienna, Austria. See the presentations, posters, interviews and more.