Nature Based Solutions

Human civilization has undergone significant economic development in the past two centuries.

This economic development has come at a cost, both socially and ecologically. While we have achieved remarkable feats, we have also pushed the Earth to its limits and disrupted the systems that sustain us. We find ourselves in a unique position where the greatest threat to our survival is our actions.

The changes of the 21st century can cause irreversible environmental changes. These changes can negatively impact our civilization. Ecosystem degradation and increasing disasters are already impacting lives and the economy. Water management in the 20th century involved creating grey infrastructures to control water. However, these approaches had adverse ecological and management outcomes, such as dam silting and accelerated runoffs.

According to Albert Einstein, it is crucial to recognize that we cannot solve problems using the same level of thinking that led to their creation. As a result, there is a growing understanding that instead of solely relying on traditional engineering solutions, it is necessary to collaborate with ecosystems to enhance liveability, improve resilience, and minimize vulnerabilities.

Nature-based solutions (NbS) are a concept that draws inspiration from nature and applies it to solve societal challenges. Furthermore, they provide a range of economic, environmental, and social benefits, including cost savings in infrastructure, job creation, sustainable economic growth, and opportunities for improved health and recreation.

Nature-based solutions (NbS) appeal from their ability to provide multiple benefits in disaster risk reduction, water management, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and biodiversity and ecosystem protection.

Like other countries in the Global South, India has significant water risks. India is a water-stressed nation with 18% of the world’s population but only 4% of its water resources. Critical issues include water scarcity, limited access to clean water, pollution, and inadequate sanitation. Additionally, climate change, excessive consumption, improper waste management, and biodiversity loss worsen the challenges faced by human development and longevity in India.

CDD India has worked on Nature Based Solutions for over twenty years for Water and Sanitation Solutions.
  • These solutions are cost-effective, inclusive, and environmentally friendly. They focus on marginalized and vulnerable communities. Our approach is to solve problems at the source through decentralization. We aim to share our knowledge and experience to scale NbS by working with other practitioners and government stakeholders in the Global South.

    CDD India’s Guiding Principles while implementing Nature based Solutions.

    Guiding Principles :

  1. Guiding Principles: Fundamental principle that we at CDD India, believe is ‘what cannot be maintained should not be built’. We strive for robust water and sanitation solutions that stand the test of time and integrate community involvement and inclusion into solution design.
  2. Community owned O& M: We actively ensures community participation in operation and maintenance of the water and sanitation infrastructure. Making technology accessible to everyone
  3. Decentralization: We believe in solving the problem as close to the source as possible. This is done through Collection, treatment, and reuse of liquid waste near the source. The approach helps in reusing water and residue with minimal wastage and energy requirements compared to conventional treatment methods. Helps improve resilience.
  4. Reliance on Local Resources. We promote green local jobs by creating solution which are easily available in the remotest parts of the world. Hence, supply chain problems do not arise. Avoids long supply chains.
  5. Contextual: appreciated diversity and solutions remain integral to context rather than cut and paste.

Key Flagship Projects : 


    • Arvind Eye Hospital
    • Devanhaali FSTP
    • Suvidha
    • Stan Chart
    • Bangalore Floods
    • Allepy
    • Devanhalli Solid Waste Management