We want local communities to have access to the knowledge, tools, wisdom and finance to look after the natural water holding capacity of their landscapes.
“Involving the [communities] in project design and empowering local government to respond to community needs would improve effectiveness and accountability.”
(Dec 2014- from a report by ODI, Oxfam & World Resources Initiative)
What we can do for you
Our partnership works across the spectrum, from top level government through to the grass roots in the following areas.
Policy and Law
We work to ensure policy makers and decision makers are aware of the benefits associated with community-based Natural Catchment Measures both for the natural world and government budgets. Linking national government priorities with local community needs through appropriate financial mechanisms is our on going work.
We also make accessible to communities, the understanding of how the law can work for them in these areas.
Project management and Implementation
We use our expertise from around the world, to translate government objectives into community projects, with clear guidelines, responsibilities and tasks.
We carry out implementation of Natural Catchment Measures in water-stressed regions of the world, drawing from the 30 years experience of our partners in India, (Tarun Bharat Sangh), Slovakia , (People and Water) and the UK (the James Hutton Institute and Newcastle University ).
We conduct research on community-based water projects around the world, connecting them together and sharing best practice globally.
"The New Water Paradigm" by our partners, People and Water in Slovakia calls for a new way to work with water, providing an evidence-based, scientific basis to this work.
We are building a case study web-library of Natural Catchment Measures' global best practice.
Awareness and Education are vital for people to get into managing their landscapes in an effective and informed manner. As also teaching the next generation, the traditional wisdom that has managed landscapes in their regions .
We are in the process of creating a practical educational program for people to learn and understand what they can do in their regions, learning from the experience of our growing family of global partners.
Finance and Investments
We provide financial models through which local community, businesses and investors can fund a project, backed by Government support.
For example, our River and Landscape Bond (RLB) is a financial mechanism that aids governments, businesses and all other stake holders to undertake this work at a fraction of the cost of traditional hard engineering works.
We also seek investment and philanthropic partners for the projects.
Floods and Droughts:
Two Sides of the Same Coin
Agricultural drainage and land management techniques play a key role in whether a given catchment area experiences a flood or a drought over successive years. A high volume of water runoff traveling fast across the land results in flooding downstream, taking the valuable top soil with it. What's more, the water does not have time to soak into the soil, leaving the aquifer unreplenished, leading to future droughts. The cumulative effect is that the "Small Water Cycle" is disrupted, where stable, localised weather patterns give way to more unpredictable, more extreme large scale weather conditions. [click here to read "A New Water Paradigm" for more information about this subject]
Natural Water Solutions:
Slowing the Flow
Flow Intervention Structures strategically placed within the catchment basin simply slow the flow allowing the excess rainwater to soak into the ground. This minimises the volume of water traveling downstream before it reaches settlements, averting the risk of flooding and the need for expensive hard engineering works. What's more, slow flowing water is far less erosive, keeping the farmers' greatest asset on their land, minimising nutrient/pesticide runoff into rivers, whilst simultaneously replenishing the aquifer, averting droughts and restoring the Small Water Cycle overall. Additionally, the structures themselves can create much needed transient and permanent habitat for our endangered wildlife.
At their core, Natural Water Solutions are Multi-benefit; understanding and working with the system as a whole, dealing with issues at their source rather than merely fixing symptoms. [Click here to see successful case studies of projects by our partners in India, the Uk and Slovakia]