• Nature based solutions
  • water-wise cities

Integrating Nature-Based Solutions for Water in Urban Water Infrastructure. Part 1

Organization International Water Association
Author Tony Wong - Master Lecture at the World Water Congress & Exhibition
Year 2018
Topics Basin and Water Resources, Treatment Technologies, Urban Water Management, Water & Environment
Level of action Water-wise Cities / Urban Level


How to best integrate natural-based solutions with conventional urban water infrastructure to enhance the water resilience, livability and sustainability of cities and towns?

In March 2018, the UN World Water Development on Nature-based Solutions for Water was launched. During this session, Prof. Wong will provide an overview of the scientific developments that underpin the adoption of nature-based solutions for water, from the understanding of water-related natural processes and ecosystem services.

Nature-based solutions encompass the full spectrum of activities in enhancing ecosystem services; from nature conservation to biomimicry. Nature conservation and restoration, including regional planning for the protection of natural assets; the restoration of degraded environments such as mangroves and wetlands, reforestation of watershed, and the rehabilitation of degraded waterways. Within an urban context, nature-based solutions include the combination of biomimicry through constructed systems embedded into the built form.

Examples of water sensitive urban design and other related international programs will be provided of how green infrastructure is being incorporated within the urban water systems at allotment and precinct scale through innovative building and landscape architectural design form. Discussion will include how water sensitive design principles can be integrated within city & regional planning with examples from around the world to illustrate the current practices and benefits, as well as some of the technical, economical & political barriers to be overcome to ensure further diffusion of this way of thinking.

Professor Tony Wong is Chief Executive of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, an Australian Government Initiative with research hubs in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Singapore. Prof Wong is also the IWA Global Water Award winner this year. He is internationally recognised for his research and practice in sustainable urban water management, particularly in water sensitive urban design (WSUD). He has also received the prestigious Engineers Australia Sir John Holland Award as Australia’s 2010 Civil Engineer of the

Over the past 30 years,Professor Wong has pioneered a program of work—the water sensitive cities approach—that uses a unique socio-technical approach to concurrently address the social, environmental and economic challenges of traditional urban water management.