NBS Insight - Question 4

Are there examples of cases where there is a clear return on financial investment in nature-based solutions? Are there any hard numbers?


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Upstream Thinking is South West Water's multi-award-winning catchment management scheme which has been applying natural landscape-scale solutions to water quality issues since 2008. The current programme is being delivered through a partnership of South West Water, the Devon Wildlife Trust, the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, the Westcountry Rivers Trust and the Exmoor National Park Authority.

South West Water is the licensed water and sewerage provider for over 1.65m residents in South West England. Working in partnership with landowners, farmers, charities and other agencies, the programme involves re-establishing natural resources by rewetting moorland and then working with land users to reduce water pollution from livestock, sediment, pesticides and fertilisers.

A £9.1 million plan for investment was implemented between 2010 and 2015. The estimated benefit to cost ratio was 65:1, with the project providing not only improvements to the environment, but also aiding South West Water by improving natural storage of water and reduction in pollutants, and so saving the cost of building large-scale new filtration facilities with their associated chemical and energy implications.

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Posted on: 10 Oct 2017 - 15:56