Skip to main content
  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2023

Greening Water Risks

Natural Assurance Schemes

  • Provides tools and methods to implement nature-based solutions to water security
  • In-depth case studies from nine different international locations
  • Offers links to material providing details and examples to develop natural assurance schemes
  • This book is Open Access which means that there is free and unlimited access to the content

Part of the book series: Water Security in a New World (WSEC)

Buy it now

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access

Table of contents (20 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-vii
  2. Concepts in Water Security, Natural Assurance Schemes and Nature-Based Solutions

    • Peter van der Keur, Nora Van Cauwenbergh, Elena López Gunn, Jonatan Godinez Madrigal, Philippe Le Coent, Raffaele Giordano
    Pages 1-17Open Access
  3. A Reader’s Guide to Natural Assurance Schemes

    • Elena López Gunn, Laura Vay, Carlos Marcos
    Pages 19-33Open Access
  4. Insurance and the Natural Assurance Value (of Ecosystems) in Risk Prevention and Reduction

    • Roxane Marchal, David Moncoulon, Elena López Gunn, Josh Weinberg, Kanika Thakar, Mónica Altamirano et al.
    Pages 35-50Open Access
  5. Methodologies to Assess and Map the Biophysical Effectiveness of Nature Based Solutions

    • Mark Mulligan, Sophia Burke, Caitlin Douglas, Arnout van Soesbergen
    Pages 51-65Open Access
  6. Participatory Modelling for NBS Co-design and Implementation

    • Raffaele Giordano, Alessandro Pagano
    Pages 67-89Open Access
  7. Economic Assessment of Nature-Based Solutions for Water-Related Risks

    • Philippe Le Coent, Cécile Hérivaux, Javier Calatrava, Roxane Marchal, David Moncoulon, Camilo Benítez Ávila et al.
    Pages 91-112Open Access
  8. Designing Natural Assurance Schemes with Integrated Decision Support and Adaptive Planning

    • Laura Basco-Carrera, Nora Van Cauwenbergh, Eskedar T. Gebremedhin, Guillaume Piton, Jean-Marc Tacnet, Mónica A. Altamirano et al.
    Pages 113-133Open Access
  9. NAS Canvas: Identifying Business Models to Support Implementation of Natural Assurance Schemes

    • Beatriz Mayor, Elena López Gunn, Pedro Zorrilla-Miras, Kieran Dartée, Thomas Biffin, Karina Peña
    Pages 135-148Open Access
  10. Closing the Implementation Gap of NBS for Water Security: Developing an Implementation Strategy for Natural Assurance Schemes

    • Mónica A. Altamirano, Hugo de Rijke, Begoña Arellano, Florentina Nanu, Marice Angulo, Camilo Benítez Ávila et al.
    Pages 149-170Open Access
  11. Reducing Water Related Risks in the Lower Danube Through Nature Based Solution Design: A Stakeholder Participatory Process

    • Albert Scrieciu, Sabin Rotaru, Bogdan Alexandrescu, Irina Catianis, Florentina Nanu, Roxane Marchal et al.
    Pages 171-199Open Access
  12. Multidisciplinary Assessment of Nature-Based Strategies to Address Groundwater Overexploitation and Drought Risk in Medina Del Campo Groundwater Body

    • Beatriz Mayor, África de la Hera-Portillo, Miguel Llorente, Javier Heredia, Javier Calatrava, David Martínez et al.
    Pages 201-221Open Access
  13. Natural Flood Management in the Thames Basin: Building Evidence for What Will and Will Not Work

    • Mark Mulligan, Arnout van Soesbergen, Caitlin Douglas, Sophia Burke
    Pages 223-246Open Access
  14. Giving Room to the River: A Nature-Based Solution for Flash Flood Hazards? The Brague River Case Study (France)

    • Guillaume Piton, Nabila Arfaoui, Amandine Gnonlonfin, Roxane Marchal, David Moncoulon, Ali Douai et al.
    Pages 247-268Open Access
  15. Can NBS Address the Challenges of an Urbanized Mediterranean Catchment? The Lez Case Study

    • Philippe Le Coent, Roxane Marchal, Cécile Hérivaux, Jean-Christophe Maréchal, Bernard Ladouche, David Moncoulon et al.
    Pages 269-296Open Access
  16. Glinščica for All: Exploring the Potential of NBS in Slovenia: Barriers and Opportunities

    • Polona Pengal, Alessandro Pagano, Guillaume Piton, Zdravko Kozinc, Blaž Cokan, Zarja Šinkovec et al.
    Pages 297-323Open Access
  17. The Opportunities and Challenges for Urban NBS: Lessons from Implementing the Urban Waterbuffer in Rotterdam

    • Kieran Wilhelmus Jacobus Dartée, Thomas Biffin, Karina Peña
    Pages 325-345Open Access
  18. Urban River Restoration, a Scenario for Copenhagen

    • Morten Ejsing Jørgensen, Jacob Kidmose, Peter van der Keur, Eulalia Gómez, Raffaele Giordano, Hans Jørgen Henriksen
    Pages 347-365Open Access
  19. Enabling Effective Engagement, Investment and Implementation of Natural Assurance Systems for Water and Climate Security

    • Josh Weinberg, Kanika Thakar, Roxane Marchal, Florentina Nanu, Beatriz Mayor, Elena López Gunn et al.
    Pages 367-384Open Access
  20. The Natural Assurance Schemes Methodological Approach – From Assessment to Implementation

    • Nora Van Cauwenbergh, Raffaele Giordano, Philippe Le Coent, Elena López Gunn, Beatriz Mayor, Peter van der Keur
    Pages 385-405Open Access

About this book

Confronted with an increase in floods, droughts and other natural hazards, cities and regions are alert to find climate proof solutions that overcome the limitations of traditional grey infrastructure.


Nature-based solutions are proposed as a valid way to address risk and adapt to climate change while increasing resilience through the multiple benefits they generate. However, in spite of the widespread academic and political support for NBS, their implementation is lacking. As key barriers to implementation there are institutional and regulatory barriers, an absence of clear evaluation of NBS performance, funding/financing barriers and knowledge and acceptance barriers.


This Open Access book provides a hands-on guide to overcome these barriers, through the stepwise creation of nature-assurance schemes that operationalize the insurance value of ecosystems. At the basis thereof is an integrated biophysical, economic and social assessment which is integrated with implementation considerations through the generation of business models and blended funding and financing schemes.


This book will be of interest to practitioners and researchers who want to better understand how to operationalize the insurance value of ecosystems. The book provides 9 DEMO examples on the application of this method across different scales: urban, medium and large catchments and target both floods and droughts.

Editors and Affiliations

  • ICATALIST S.L., Las Rozas, Spain

    Elena López-Gunn

  • Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Copenhagen, Denmark

    Peter van der Keur

  • IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Delft, The Netherlands

    Nora Van Cauwenbergh

  • French Geological Survey, Montpellier, France

    Philippe Le Coent

  • CNR IRSA, Bari, Italy

    Raffaele Giordano

About the editors

Dr Elena López Gunn is the Founder and Director of ICATALIST, a Spanish start up specialized in climate change adaptation and sustainability. She is also Lead Author for WGII of the IPCC and Member of the European Scientific Advisory Board on climate change. In the past she worked at the London School of Economics as an Alcoa Research Fellow, focusing on water governance and collective action to achieve sustainable water management. She has worked at the Water Observatory of the Botin foundation, a Think tank undertaking targeted research to provide new evidence on key policy questions both in Spain and globally.  Elena has collaborated with several organizations including UNESCO, FAO, UNDP, EU DG RTD, universities and river basin agencies, municipalities and regional governments, as well as the private sector like Repsol, and NGOs like Transparency International, undertaking research and knowledge transfer on robust water governance and climate change adaptation. 

She was the scientific coordinator of the H2020 NAIAD project on the Natural Insurance Value: assessment and demonstration (www.naiad2020.eu). Her current interests are focused on how to have a deeper understanding on the role nature can play to reduce or manage risks and generate co-benefits at different scales. She is also focused and committed to structuring real projects on the ground with end users to accelerate the uptake of more sustainable solutions to current socio-ecological challenges.


Peter van der Keur has a background in soil physical and vegetation hydrological processes and modelling. He has since 2001 been employed by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) and initially worked on research related to water and solute transport, including uncertainty assessments, from the soil surface to the groundwater domain. Later focus has shifted towards water resources management including hydrological impact studies on climate changeadaptation and disaster risk reduction mainly from a groundwater perspective and participated in various European, Nordic and national funded projects. In the H2020 NAIAD project he was co-leading  the part on demonstrating nature-based climate adaptation solutions in contrasting European case studies. Recently he coordinated the H2020 TACTIC (GeoERA) project on climate change impact on groundwater resources and is currently in the Horizon Europe GSEU project coordinating the part on appraisal, protection and sustainable use of Europe’s groundwater resources. He is a member of the Water Resources Expert Group (WREG) and Urban Geology Expert Group (UGEG), both within the EuroGeoSurveys (EGS).


Nora Van Cauwenbergh is an expert in water and sustainable development with over 15 years of experience in academia and the private sector. She is passionate about contributing to a green and inclusive society through co-design of innovative natural resources management considering different value systems. She has extensive experience with participatory design and use of software tools and protocols for stakeholder negotiation in water management. Her research and capacity building expertise spans across management and governance of water scarcity, integrated water resources management, planning and conflict management, and integration of nature-based solutions in basin and city planning around the globe. In H2020 NAIAD project, she was co-leading the integration of methods and tools with stakeholder perspectives and business models. As social entrepreneur in the private sector, she grounds her work on co-design and implementation of green solutions in buildings and cities. She has academic positions at IHE Delft in the Netherlands and at VUB/KULeuven (IUPWARE) in Belgium, where she coordinates and teaches various water management and planning topics and supervises MSc and PhD candidates. 

Philippe LE COENTwas originally trained as an agronomist and worked for 10 years as an expert in crop production, including 6 years at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). He then started research activities in environmental economics since 2013. His early research work focused on the design and evaluation of innovative policy instruments to promote pro-environmental behavior by economic agents. Since 2018, he has been a  researcher at the French geological Survey (BRGM) and in the G-Eau lab in Montpellier, France. He now develops research on the economic valuation of Nature based Solutions and their contribution to water security particularly in urban contexts. He notably led the economic valuation component of the H2020 NAIAD project implemented in 6 European countries. He also conducts research on water resource economics and decision-making methods under high uncertainty in the context of climate change. He mainly mobilizes empirical methods such as econometric analysis, quantitative surveys, choice experiments and experimental economics in the laboratory and in the field. 



Raffaele Giordano is an expert in participatory modelling approaches for the sustainable management of water resources, with over 20 years of experience in research organizations. He is passionate about bringing a variety of stakeholders’ knowledge and perceptions into the modelling process. He has spent the last decade addressing the key challenges of knowledge co-production and of the actual usability of environmental models. Bridging the gaps between scientific knowledge and the decision-making process is at the core of his research activities. In the H2020 NAIAD project, he was leading the activities related to the inclusion of social issues in the co-design of NBS for water-related risks. Recently he started coordinating the BIOTRAILS project, an EU Horizon Europe-funded project. He is a researcher at the Italian National ResearchCouncil – Water Research Institute, where he coordinates the group dedicated to the development of System Dynamic Models for water resource management. 





Bibliographic Information

Buy it now

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access