Beyond the Source: The environmental, economic and community benefits of source water protection

Beyond the Source: The environmental, economic and community benefits of source water protection

Natura Foundation Bolivia contributed to the report Beyond the Source: The environmental, economic and community benefits of source water protection, led by The Nature Conservancy. Beyond the Source seeks to illustrate the value of nature to cities looking to secure water supplies while adding a number of benefits that address global challenges we face. By restoring forests and working with farmers and ranchers to improve their land management practices, we can improve water quality and reduce water treatment costs. The report highligths the importance of healthy source watersheds are vital natural infrastructure for nearly all cities around the world. They collect, store and filter water and provide benefits for biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation and mitigation, food security, and human health and well-being. Protecting and restoring the natural infrastructure of source watersheds can directly enhance water quality and quantity. The value of source water protection goes well beyond water security. The report offers for the first time, an in-depth exploration of the co-benefits—including climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity, and human health and well-being—that can result from source water protection investment. Capturing the value of source watersheds through water funds  The water fund, an institutional platform, can help resolve governance issues by bridging science, jurisdictional, financial and implementation gaps. For more than 15 years, water funds have helped communities improve water quality by bringing water users together to collectively invest in upstream habitat protection and land management, and mobilize innovative sources of funding.  As a permanent governance, investment and source water protection implementation mechanism, water funds provide the framework for collective action, connecting land stewards in rural areas and water users...