New paper on the contribution of Natural/Small Water Retention Measures to Ecosystem-Based Concepts!


Natural/Small Water Retention Measures (NSWRM) are in the focus of the OPTAIN project.

They can help to mitigate conflicts among agricultural water uses and other human and environmental demands for water that arise from the increasing number of extreme events caused by climate change. Moreover, they can serve a sound management of head watersheds, which could significantly contribute to improved water quality and more resilient agriculture and society.

The new paper by Julie Magnier, Benoit Fribourg-Blanc, Tatenda Lemann, Felix Witing, William Critchley, and Martin Volk demonstrates how NSWRM fit into the framework of ecosystem-based concepts, including Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM), Green Infrastructure (GI), Sustainable Land Management (SLM), Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA), and Nature-based Solutions (NbS). NSWRM, as a distinct concept, brings added value to the other concepts by focusing on easy-to-implement, modestly sized, localized technical solutions to problems associated with water management, sediment, and nutrient loss.

Based on our experience from the 14 case studies in the OPTAIN project, the paper shows what NSWRM are, how they are linked to each of the ecosystem-based concepts, and how they can help add value to these concepts. In addition, the paper presents the potential for the application of NSWRM in the context of these concepts, while helping to identify planning tools, the expertise required, and potential funding mechanisms.


Author: Martin Volk (UFZ) - 03/2024