EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Evaluating the impact of urban wetlands as nature-based solutions at the catchment scale

Fangjun Peng, Leyang Liu, Yuxuan Gao, Vladimir Krivtsov, Barnaby Dobson, and Ana Mijic
Fangjun Peng et al.
  • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom (

During COP14 in 2022, Ramsar Convention commended 25 cities around the world for their efforts to protect urban wetlands. With the development of cities and the increase in land demand, the trend is to reduce the number of open blue spaces. Yet when preserved and sustainably used, urban nature-based solutions in the form of constructed wetlands could provide water management benefits including water quality regulation and flood mitigation. However, these water management benefits have rarely been evaluated at a catchment scale, and the mechanisms behind them are not fully understood, both of which hinder effective integrated constructed wetlands planning. We aim to explore the impact of wetland changes on water quality and quantity at the catchment scale. This study firstly evaluates the benefits by analysing the monitoring water quantity and quality datasets before and after the wetland construction in Enfield catchment, London. To understand the mechanisms behind the benefits, we build a Water Systems Integration Modelling framework (WSIMOD) to simulate the catchment-scale water cycle. This model is validated against monitoring river flow and water quality data. The constructed wetlands are then conceptualised and integrated into the WSIMOD, and their interactions with the catchment water cycle are simulated. Scenarios are constructed to analyse the impacts of different configurations and sizes of the constructed wetlands on the catchment water cycle. The results show that urban wetlands play a role in flood detention and water quality purification of watershed water resources at the catchment scale. Scattered small wetlands can more effectively reduce the impact of a flood under the same total wetland area. The results provide useful insights into the planning of constructed wetlands for maximising the water management benefits at a catchment scale. Future studies could focus on representing the interaction between the quantity and quality of water in a wetland with biodiversity and leveraging this representation to design interventions to improve biodiversity.

How to cite: Peng, F., Liu, L., Gao, Y., Krivtsov, V., Dobson, B., and Mijic, A.: Evaluating the impact of urban wetlands as nature-based solutions at the catchment scale, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-6780,, 2023.