Nature-based Solutions for Water and Land Management

Cranfield University Nature based solutions, water and land management

Target Audience

The course is open to delegates from a variety of backgrounds, including environmental scientists, biologists, civil and environmental engineers, and those interested in using ecological principles to solve environmental challenges in urban and rural settings. This is a professional development course that thrives on the diversity of viewpoints and backgrounds, reflecting the varied expertise and context in which NbS can be applied.


The global challenges associated with the effects of climate change, population growth and biodiversity loss require a systems-level approach to developing, assessing, and implementing sustainable solutions to ensure the prosperity of both planet and people. Nature-based solutions (NbS) are uniquely placed to deliver multiple benefits at local, regional and landscape level. This short course, developed by Cranfield University together with NbS experts from all around the world, enables professionals with an interest in NbS to broaden their understanding of how they can be applied for improved water quality through integrated land and water management.

The course will illustrate how NbS can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, either by themselves or in combination with other technologies or strategies. As the world shifts towards net zero, nature recovery and water security targets, being able to assess potential nature-based solutions (NbS) in different contexts will become a key skill for all designers, regulators, consultants, academics, and NGOs involved in environmental studies.

The course is supported by the International Water Association, the Constructed Wetland Association (CWA)British Water and The Nature Conservancy.


Core contents:
  • Principles of ecological engineering and NbS context,
  • Environmental and economic quantification of NbS benefits,
  • Ecosystem services and life cycle analysis,
  • The importance of multipurpose designs,
  • Treatment wetlands for water and wastewater treatment,
  • Sustainable urban drainage systems,
  • Green roofs and green walls,
  • Natural flood management strategies,
  • Ecosystem restoration and biodiversity net gain,
  • Integrating NbS in the circular economy,
  • Implementation and funding guidance.
  • Regenerative agriculture.

Learning Objectives

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Describe, contextualise and explain nature-based solutions to technical and non-technical audiences,
  • Assess benefits from an economic, social and environmental standpoint,
  • Recognise best practice and identify current limitations of nature-based solutions,
  • Identify trade-offs of nature-based solutions in different contexts,
  • Understand the barriers and enablers for successful implementation of NbS schemes.

A 20% discount is available for IWA members.