Communities around the world face a growing water crisis. Surging water demand, aging water infrastructure, continued changes in land use, and increasingly extreme weather events drive water management costs higher. The need is growing for lower-cost means to secure ample and clean water. Natural infrastructure approaches—such as forest protection, watershed restoration, and sustainable management of landscapes—have a major role to play in confronting water crisis. As awareness grows on the linkage between the health of watersheds and their capacity to supply sufficient, clean water, watershed stakeholders— water utilities, business, government, and communities— face many challenges and a lack of information as they explore opportunities for integrating natural infrastructure approaches in managing their water resources.
To fill the gap, the World Resources Institute (WRI) has developed Global Forest Watch Water (GFW Water), a publicly available global interactive mapping tool and database that allow users to glean key information about using natural infrastructure to enhance water security. GFW Water aims to help downstream beneficiaries, financing and development institutions, and civil society and research groups apply natural infrastructure as a strategy to enhance water security and improve watershed management.
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