Building nature based, resilient water systems: Catalyzing the Role of Water Regulators

In 2018, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and The International Water Association (IWA) started a joint research work with the International Water Regulators Forum, IWA Specialist Groups and other networks, with the objective to support the information needed for ensuring policies and regulations that promote nature based solutions in water management. 

Regulators have a key role to play in creating the right enabling environment that encourages transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies, optimizing resources while protecting and restore the world’s water-related ecosystem. According to WWDR (2018:5), nature based solutions (NBS) “are able to enhance overall water security by improving water availability and water quality while simultaneously reducing water-related risks and generating additional social, economic and environmental co-benefits”.

Work activities and objectives
For the purpose of this research, a Task Force is established with members selected among renowned experts and regulatory authorities from diverse geographies and regulatory functions. Members provided inputs and feedback, expertise and cases, to catalyze the enabling conditions for consideration and investments for NBS. In particular, task force members gathered together in teleconferences to:

  • Examine opportunities and barriers, needs and gaps, for regulators to implement NBS for water management and resiliency, in diverse governance contexts
  • Assess and evaluate demands and gaps among regulators to implement NBS and propose ways forward
  • Share examples of regulatory models and frameworks in support of NBS for water management, to bring lessons learned and guidance into tangible gathered practice

An assessment on the targeted benefits and constraints among regulators for implementing NBS for water management, as basis for resilient and sustainable universal access to water and sanitation for all. Outcomes of the work inspired discussions at the 5th International Water Regulators Forum, in Tokyo 2018, on the occasion of the World Water Congress.

Technical brief

This technical brief sums up the work being conducted by the International Water Association (IWA) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) with the aim of advancing sustainable catchment management through nature-based solutions (NBS). The initiative aims to contribute new insights to the body of knowledge against which NBS can be assessed, a critical element for mainstreaming these practices. The partnership also aims to support those water utilities and water regulators looking to harness nature as a means of ensuring water security.

Task Force


Mr Alberto Biancardi: President of WAREG; Commissioner of Autorità di Regolazione per Energia Reti e Ambiente (ARERA), Italy

Mr José Bento Da Rocha: Regulator of Public Services, Superintendent of Planning and Special Programs at Agência Reguladora de Águas, Energia e Saneamento Básico do Distrito Federal (ADASA), Brazil

Dr Ariana Rossen, Investigadora en microbiologia y toxicologia, Centro de Tecnologia del Uso del Agua INA - Instituto Nacional del Agua Argentina

Ms Zelmira Mackova, Head Analytical and Benchmarking Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Czech Republic

Mr Kelvin Chitumbo, Director National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO), Zambia

Mr Oscar Eduardo Angulo, Especialista Ambiental, Gerencia de Regulacion Tarifaria, Superintendencia Nacional de Servicios de Saneamiento (SUNASS), Peru

Mr Alan Sutherland, Chief Executive, Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS), UK
Dr Sarah Hendry, Senior Lecturer, University of Dundee, UK; IWA Specialist Group Institutional Governance and Regulation

Dr Ivaylo Kastchiev, General Director Water and Sanitation Services Directorate, Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC), Bulgaria

IWA Specialist Group Institutional Governance and Regulation: Puja Doshi (Germany) and Ludovico Spinosa (National Research Council, Italy)


Carolina Latorre Aravena, Water Policy and Regulation at The International Water Association, Den Haag, The Netherlands

Aparna Sridhar, Policy Advisor for Water at the Nature Conservancy, Washington DC, USA

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