The Guidelines on Natural Small Water Retention Measures, launched today, 22 October at 13th International Conference EUROPE-INBO 2015, are defining small retention measures and their purpose. They are intended for individuals, civil society and policy makers, on how to plan and construct different kinds of small water retention measures that lower flood risk and store water for dry periods. The Guidelines on Natural Small Water Retention Measures were developed within the Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP) in CEE, which was launched in 2013 by the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and the World Metorological Organization (WMO).
Human activity, such as the construction of drainage systems, the sealing of surfaces as a result of urbanisation, and the regulation of rivers and changes of land use, have contributed to altering the water cycle, which has resulted in an increased frequency of extreme events, such as floods and droughts. Besides being harmful to humans, these events also negatively affect the natural environment, and increase pollution to surface and groundwater. In addition to the human impacts, it should also be noted that climate change might further exacerbate the issue.
How to combat such difficult events has been a driving force among experts and scientists from across the region. One excellent solution has been Small Water Retention Measures in ponds, wetlands or polders. Measures can improve the potential of landscapes to hold water, and increase its resilience against the effects of climate change. Importantly, the measures help to retain water in the land during wet periods, and then to make this water more available for ecosystems, agriculture and forestry during drought periods.
The Guidelines represent one key step on the way to fulfilling the Global Water Partnership vision of a water-secure world which harnesses the productive power of water and minimises its destructive force.
The Guidelines on Natural small water retention measures are available for download here. The Guidelines compliment the Case Studies, examples of different small retention measures already in action from CEE region. The Case Studies can be downloaded here.
For more information, please contact Sabina Bokal, Programme Manager at idmp.sabina[at]gmail.com.
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