Alliances for green infrastructure: state of watershed investment 2016

Governments, water utilities, companies, and communities around the world paid nearly US$25 billion (B) in 2015 for nature-based solutions to secure reliable access to clean water, according to a new report from Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace, Alliances for Green Infrastructure: State of Watershed Investment 2016. From Beijing to Sao Paulo, and from Delhi to Los Angeles, cities and rural communities alike are struggling to maintain basic water services in the face of growing water scarcity, increasing floods and droughts, and other problems. Compounded by climate change and shrinking budgets, these challenges demand flexible, cost-effective solutions that can help close the “infrastructure gap” – the growing deficit between where water infrastructure investments now stand and where they need to be. Alliances for Green Infrastructure tracks the growing popularity of a holistic water management approach that combines engineered “gray infrastructure” with “green infrastructure,” which includes healthy forests, wetlands, grasslands, and mangroves. This natural infrastructure can reduce flood risk, protect from storm damage, and help deliver drinking water, often at a fraction of the cost of strategies that focus exclusively on gray infrastructure.