World Water Day 2018 – the answer is in nature!
World Water Day, celebrated on the 22nd of March every year, is about focusing attention on the importance of water.
This year’s theme is “Nature for Water”, aiming to explore how we can use nature based solutions (NBS) to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century, such as floods, droughts and water pollution.
Given that globally 2.1 billion people don’t have access to safe drinking water, 1.2 billion are at risk of floods, and 80% of human wastewater is discharged into the environment untreated, these approaches are becoming more and more important. As highlighted on our recent World Wetlands Day blog, Sustainable Drainage Systems incorporated to the urban environment are an ideal example of nature based solutions, they work as nature would – using the landscape to manage surface water, reduce pollution and facilitate groundwater recharge.
Many of these NBS are approaches that we actively use as part of WWT Consulting projects both in the UK and abroad. We have recently worked with The Environment Agency on the design and construction of a 5ha wetland providing flood storage capacity alongside the River Irwell in Salford.
There is a well recorded history of flooding in Salford from the River Irwell, and therefore a need to improve the standard of flood protection; as a nature based solution, the newly created wetland habitats not only serve as flood storage to better protect 1,900 homes and businesses, but also create a multifunctional new urban wetland providing recreational and educational space in heart of Salford.
Looking for more inspiration for your World Water Day celebrations? Then please visit the following link, where you’ll be able to find resources prepared by UN-Water especially for the occasion.