The need to ensure that adequate volumes of water of suitable quality are made available to support and maintain healthy ecosystems has long been established. But, nature also plays a unique and fundamental role in regulating different features of the water cycle, in which it can act as a regulator, a cleaner and/or a supplier of water. As such, maintaining healthy ecosystems directly leads to improved water security for all.
As the fifth in a series of annual, theme-oriented reports, the 2018 edition of the United Nations World Development Report (WWDR) focuses on opportunities to harness the natural processes that regulate various elements of the water cycle, which have become collectively known as nature-based solutions (NBS) for water. This is not merely a ‘good idea’ (which of course it is), but an essential step to ensuring the long-term sustainability of water resources and of the multitude of benefits that water provides; from food and energy security to human health and sustainable socio-economic development.