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Congress sessions will take stock of current water and sanitation operators’ issues, showcase good approaches, and offer recommendations for how operators can tackle challenges through peer-to-peer partnerships.

Each theme will be addressed through a combination of roundtables, dialogues, and sessions based on offer and demand received through the call.

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Nature as Critical Infrastructure: operators looking beyond the pipes

#CircularDevelopment · #ClimateAdaptation

Tuesday 19 October — 13.00-15.00 (CEST)

Languages: English, French, Spanish

A deteriorating natural environment, exacerbated by climate change, is causing water utilities tremendous cost overruns and management headaches. Engineered infrastructure is challenged by significant threats to water availability and water quality. What help can natural infrastructure offer water utilities to meet these challenges, strategies as diverse as source water protection upstream and rainwater parks downstream? Natural infrastructure is often a neglected aspect of water provision. With competing demands of managing a water system, engineers may lack the expertise, financing and resources to pursue strategies beyond the intake pipe and treatment plant. Natural infrastructure strategies often require creative and complex governance and management arrangements with both public and private agencies, from national environmental protection departments to upstream farmer associations. This session will explore strategies that water operators use to collaborate with actors across the watershed – upstream and downstream – to ensure adequate, high quality water. We will hear an introduction to natural infrastructure, presenting benefits and costs and then take a detailed look at specific cases. Three water operators from around the world will describe their specific successes and challenges. Are you considering natural infrastructure strategies? Do you have experiences to share with your colleagues? Please bring your questions and comments to this dynamic session.