Alliance for Global Water Adaptation / Arup / Forest Trends / Silvestrum / Stockholm International Water Institute / The Nature Conservancy / Urban Waters Federal Partnership / World Resources Institute

Ecosystems, water, and health: The multiple dimensions of natural infrastructure

Thursday 31 August | 11.00-12.30 | Room: FH 307
Riccardo Mayer

Nature-based solutions for water are gaining traction, as communities, businesses and water resource professionals recognize these cost-effective, no-regrets approaches as an important part of the tool box for sustainable water management. Green infrastructure solutions for water, however, are also a powerful strategy for simultaneously addressing the complex ways in which water and health are intimately linked – freedom from disease, food security, physical and mental health, and, safety and resilience to climate change and other natural and human-caused disasters that threaten health. More innovative, water-focused, green infrastructure projects emerge each year, but for the most part these have not been strategically and systematically designed to take advantage of the potential to address water security while simultaneously providing transformative solutions for the inter-related challenges addressed in the Sustainable Development Goals. Can changing business as usual in the water sector be the catalyst for the kinds of integrated strategies needed for multiple benefit solutions that link ecosystems, water, and the multiple facets of human health?


11:00 Welcome and Open the Session

 Jan Cassin, Forest Trends

11:05  Water, Ecosystems, and Health: Setting the Stage

Leah Bremer, University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa

11:15  Case Study 1: Consequences of single purpose water management in Pakistan

Joyce Wu, Australia National University and Bridge Collaborative

11:27  Case Study2: Multi-functional Blue-Green Cities

Tom Armour, Arup

11:40 Audience Poll

11:45 Panel Discussion:  What is needed to realize the full, multiple benefit potential of natural infrastructure?

Moderator:  Marta Echavarria, Ecodecision

  • Joyce Wu, Australia National University
  • Steve Crooks, Silvestrum
  • Tom Armour, Arup
  • Todd Gartner, WRI
  • Leah Bremer, University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa

12:15  Audience Discussion, Q&A with Panelists

12:25 Audience Poll

12:30 Close of session