Delta management & Building with nature

Deltas worldwide are often densely populated areas where rivers and seas meet and where many different issues are intertwined. Such complex areas require an integrated approach towards land- and water management. Because of its long time experience in managing the country as a delta area, Delta management is a focal theme in the Dutch international water cooperation. Building with Nature is the concept of using ecological processes in designing water management measures, which can make such measures more resilient. It is an important approach in Dutch programmes such as Room for the River and the ‘Sand Engine’ (Zandmotor).

Interested in this theme? Contact us via

A Nature Based Solutions Case Studies Collection

Supporting WWDR2018, this case-study collection will aim to give an overview of case-studies executed everywhere in the world, for the world to learn about the enabling environments, benefits and evidence of impact of Nature Based Solutions.

The collection will be showcased at:

  1. The 8th World Water Forum on the Dutch Pavilion (first results) – Go to to find the first set-up.
  2. The Stockholm International water week during a seminar (if accepted)


  • Nature Based Solution case-study collection and learnings
  • an e-version will be created
  • a pamphlet for distribution

By the Netherlands IHP-HWRP Committee, Deltares, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Netherlands Water Partnership, Wageningen University and Research institute. In cooperation with WWAP, GFDRR and IUCN.

Would you like to add your case study to this collection? Then fill out this form.

The World Water Development Report (WWDR) is an annual and thematic report that focuses on different strategic water issues each year and aims to provide decision-makers with the tools to implement sustainable use of our water resources. It also includes regional aspects, hotspots, examples and stories, making the report relevant to a broad range of readers, at different levels and in different geographical areas.

The WWDR is read by many decision-makers, students, experts, and civil servants all over the world. The development of the WWDR, coordinated by the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), is a joint effort of the UN agencies and entities which make up UN-Water, working in partnership with governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders.

The WWDR for 2018 will expand on two aspects of complex water challenges that the world has to face and which are expected to intensify and continue in the future. This is done by assessing water futures where the sustainable management of food, energy, and water are recognized as deeply inter- connected and their linkages need to be assessed, utilizing consistent assumptions across sectors. Also, the report assesses the impacts of ecosystem change on water resources challenges that clearly show the need to include ecosystems in this food-energy-water nexus. It does this, by focussing on nature based approaches that are articulated as “solutions” to flag their current, and potential, contribution to solving or overcoming the major contemporary water management problems or challenges.

A guideline – Implementing nature-based flood protection I Principles and implementation guidance has been produced this year with the collective effort of Deltares, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), The World Bank, Ecoshape and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The objective of that document is among others to present guiding principles of nature based solutions as an alternative to or complementary to conventional engineering measures.

The Netherlands IHP-HWRP Committee aims to add to the WWDR2018 by collecting Nature Based Solutions (NBS) from over the globe that are able to show the theory of the report in practice. The goal is to strengthen the message in the report, by demonstrating how NBS have been put in practice. The case-study collection that is then created, will also try to take the guiding principles into account in presenting the cases. The case studies will therefore demonstrate:

  1. what the NBS is and for which problem it has been designed;
  2. why the case study is a NBS and why it was chosen above a so-called grey solution;
  3. what the hydrological and socio-economic evidence is to demonstrate that the solution was successful; and
  4. how it came to be a sustainable solution for the system as a whole and how policy was involved to enable the implementation into this same system.

 We envision the case-studies to be publicly visible online via an e-version. In this way, case studies can be demonstrated a dynamic way, with small scale and low tech vlogs and videos, making an interactive environment that can be used by all. IHE Delft will then design a pamphlet that will shortly mention these case-studies and refer back to the e-version for more information on each case study.

We will focus on NBS in urban delta’s and the catchments that provide them of food, water and energy. Both the e-version and pamphlet will structure the case studies around the location in an imaginary delta with upstream catchment, following the application of NBS in the catchment from source to sea.