EGU22-7121
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-7121
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Application of the International Guidelines on Natural and Nature Based Features for Flood Risk Management and the way forward

Ralph Schielen1,2, Chris Spray3, Chris Haring4, Jo Guy5, and Lydia Burgess-Gamble
Ralph Schielen et al.
  • 1Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management-Rijkswaterstaat, Utrecht, Netherlands (ralph.schielen@rws.nl)
  • 2Delft University of Technology, Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft, Netherlands (r.m.j.schielen@tudelft.nl)
  • 3University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland
  • 4Engineer Research and Development Center, USA Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, United States of America
  • 5Environment Agency, London, England

In 2021, the International Guidelines on Natural and Nature Based Features for Flood Risk Management  were published, as a result of a joint project between the Rijkswaterstaat (Netherlands), the Environment Agency (England) and the Army Corps of Engineers (USA). These Guidelines give direction in the application of Nature Based Solutions (NBS) for coastal and fluvial systems. In this contribution we will focus on the fluvial part of the guidelines. We will briefly discuss the process that lead to the origin of the Guidelines and discuss the intended use. It is important to realize that the location within a catchment, and the scale of a catchment determine the specifications of the most optimal NBS. Considering the classical ‘source-pathway-receptor’ approach, in the source of a catchment, NBS aim to hold back the water in the headwaters of larger catchments, enhancing management of water and sediment. In the pathways-receptor (floodplains),  NBS are more focussed on increasing the discharge capacity of the main stem. In smaller catchments, also temporarily storage of water in the floodplains occurs, if flooding of such a temporary nature can be accommodated. Rather than a detailed instruction guide, the Guidelines are intended to give best practices and list important points of attention when applying NBS. Furthermore, they act as inspiration through the many case studies that are listed.

We will also connect the Guidelines to other initiatives on the application of NBS, for example the impact that NBS might have on reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This requires a proper assessment framework which has been developed in adjacent projects and which values the added co-benefits that NBS have, compared to grey or grey-green alternatives. These benefits are also addressed in the Guidelines. Finally, we will share some thoughts on upscaling and mainstreaming NBS and the actions that are needed to accomplish that.

How to cite: Schielen, R., Spray, C., Haring, C., Guy, J., and Burgess-Gamble, L.: Application of the International Guidelines on Natural and Nature Based Features for Flood Risk Management and the way forward, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7121, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-7121, 2022.

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