Nature for Water Utilities

International Water Association (IWA) Nature Based Solutions

Target Audience

River Basin Authorities, water resource managers, governmental officials particularly at city level and utility planners. Other stakeholders with background in water management, water supply and wastewater planning or river basin management.


Nature is an invaluable resource for water utilities. Healthy forests, wetlands, and other ecosystems in protected areas help ensure clean, high quality water and thus reduce or eliminate costly purification processes.

To explore the use of nature in ensuring safe water, the International Water Association (IWA) in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) have surveyed water and wastewater utilities on their use and demand for nature based solutions (wetlands, flood plains, soil infiltration systems, etc.) as part of water and sanitation services. The purpose was to learn more about how water and wastewater companies are thinking about nature as part of their infrastructure in providing and treating water and wastewater.

IWA with TNC will present the results of the survey including more in-depth reflection from selected utilities on how they are integrating nature to secure water supply.

Learning Objectives

The participants will be able to
– Learn about the benefits of investing in nature based solutions for securing water for utilities and cities
– Discuss the political, regulatory and economic mechanisms which facilitate investment in natural infrastructure
– Catchment management plans and their importance to secure water supply for utilities and cities
– Who (stakeholders) is responsible for catchment management plan implementation, monitoring, and revision?
– How NBS affect the operation and maintenance costs of water utilities?
– How could NBS improve water security?


Katharine Cross, Program Manager Basins of the Future, IWA