1. Introduction & Objectives
Fresh water is foundational to human well-being, yet the ecosystems that underpin human freshwater needs are disproportionately impacted by unsustainable human activity. Common underlying drivers include the chronic undervaluing of water-related ecosystems, the spatial and power asymmetries that exist between service supply and demand, and the fragmented interests among stakeholders in freshwater basins. The ecosystem services paradigm offers an opportunity to address these challenges, by engaging natural resource management and planning, integrating social and cultural values of ecosystems, leveraging indigenous and other knowledge systems, and addressing other complexities of water resources governance.
However, water resource management has traditionally been viewed as an engineering challenge. Although there has been great progress in some areas to incorporate “green infrastructure” and mitigate the impacts of conventional water infrastructure such as dams, ecosystem-based approaches are still generally viewed as niche, costly alternatives. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the ecosystem services community of researchers and practitioners to synthesize the evidence for green infrastructure in a water resource management context, improve decision support tools (e.g., eco-hydrologic models), and promote innovative governance and financing mechanisms to help mainstream ecosystem services in water management.
This Sectoral Working Group on ES in Water Management brings together current knowledge about water-related ecosystem services, including but not limited to water provision, flow and quality regulation, sediment regulation, flood attenuation, aquifer recharge, freshwater fish and biomass provision, as well as cultural and supporting services that are often overlooked in water resource management. Members will bring a mix of technical skills and practical experience, and will synthesize the growing body of evidence but also identify novel approaches to measuring, communicating, and incorporating ES into water management.
2. Lead Team & Members
- Derek Vollmer, Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science, Conservation International, Arlington, Virginia, USA
- Nidhi Nagabhatla, United Nations University- Institute for Water, Environment and Health ( UNU INWEH)
The UN Think Tank on Water, CANADA
- Kremena Burkhard, Institute of Environmental Planning, Leibniz Universität Hannover, GERMANY
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Lead team, please contact the current lead team members.
If you are interested in becoming a member of this Working group, please click here.
3. activities and outputs
- Submit abstracts now for 2018 ESP EU18 San Sebastian, Spain 15-19 October: S5 – Promoting sustainability through water-related concepts, approaches and tools for quantifying ES, K. Burkhard, et al.
- 2017 ESP9 World Conference China: Ecosystem service for Eco-civilization Book of Abstracts, Presentations
- 2016 European ESP conference: Using the DESSIN ESS Evaluation Framework to assess changes in ecosystem services resulting from the implementation of innovative water technologies Book of abstracts, Presentations