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Nature Based Solutions for hydrological extremes and water resource management
Convener: Mark Wilkinson  | Co-Conveners: Paul Quinn , Christian Reinhardt-Imjela , Mary Bourke 
 / Tue, 10 Apr, 15:30–17:00
 / Attendance Tue, 10 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Globally, we are facing massive challenges on how we manage our catchments, in both rural and urban areas, in the next decades. With a changing climate and increased pressure on our land resources we need to ensure we manage the water in our catchments more sustainably and even more so during hydro-climatic extremes. Nature-based solutions (NBS) are 'living' solutions inspired by and continuously supported by nature or natural processes. NBSs are designed to address various societal challenges in a resource efficient and adaptable manner to provide simultaneously economic, social and environmental benefits (European Commission 2015). Therefore NBS can be used within both rural and urban areas to mitigate catchment flood risk, provide drought resilience, protect and enhance endangered freshwater ecosystems and reduce diffuse pollution. However, there are still challenges in implementing NBS for reasons such as lack of evidence surrounding the effectiveness (e.g. at larger scales) and for delivering multiple benefits.

Therefore this session focuses on key research and policy questions associated with NBS. For example, how do we develop locally adapted solutions in catchments and urban areas? What are the impacts of these measures at larger scales (e.g. sub-catchment/ catchment scale)? How can we address multi-disciplinary benefits? How can we do more for less? Importantly, how can we provide the evidence base around the concept of Nature Based Solutions for managing hydrological extremes and water resource management? Examples of studies that cover either the management of flooding, drought, water quality or ecology (both in the rural, peri-urban and urban context) using NBS approaches are at the heart of this session. Management measures could include techniques such as Green Infrastructure, Natural Water Retention Measures, Natural Flood Management, Catchment Restoration, Ecological Engineering or Blue-Green Infrastructure. We invite (but not limit to) abstracts that demonstrate good quality hydrological experiments around NBS; that develop new or improve existing modelling approaches/decision support tools; that investigate and quantify the multiple benefits; and which explore the challenges of implementation (e.g. stakeholder uptake/economics/cost benefit).

Public information: The session begins with an invited talk from Elena López Gunn, ICATALYST/University of Madrid on "NAture Insurance value: Assessment and Demonstration: NAIAD project"