Scaling up natural infrastructure in Canada’s Prairies for cleaner water and more resilient communities

A new five-year initiative has been announced to scale up natural infrastructure in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, in Canada, to ensure cleaner water and more resilient communities.

Natural Infrastructure for Water Solutions (NIWS), an initiative of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) funded by the BHP Foundation, aims to tackle the growing water challenges facing Canada’s Prairies through the power of natural infrastructure.

There is increasing evidence that natural infrastructure can deliver much-needed water outcomes cost effectively while also providing areas for recreation, habitat to support wildlife, and improving the overall resilience of our communities. Examples range from wetlands, to storm water parks, to green roofs. Working alongside stakeholders from many sectors, the project aims to:

  • Strengthen the business case for natural infrastructure, by demonstrating how impactful and cost-effective it can be;
  • Increase understanding and encourage local municipalities to adopt more natural infrastructure projects;
  • Support design of funding and financial pathways for those who want to implement natural infrastructure; and
  • Make sure that natural infrastructure is supported and championed by all levels of government.

Simrat Mand, US and Canada Country Program Director, BHP Foundation said given the urgency of the water crisis not just in Canada but also globally, the time is now to address and bring forward scalable solutions to address the critical water issues we are facing.

It is through the work of organizations such as IISD and the NIWS project that we hope we can build a more sustainable future for people and planet,” said Simrat.

“The BHP Foundation is pleased to partner and support IISD on this important initiative to build and share nature-based solutions for water management that can be replicated and scaled across the Prairie regions and beyond.”

Watch the launch event to learn more.