Each year on March 22, we celebrate World Water Day to highlight the importance of fresh water and advocate for the sustainable management of our freshwater resources. This year’s theme is groundwater.
Groundwater is often considered an invisible resource because it is hidden beneath our feet, but its impact on our daily lives is anything but invisible. Nearly all fresh water in the world is groundwater and is essential for drinking, agriculture, sanitation systems, industry, and ecosystems, yet in many areas around the world we are polluting or failing to harness this critical resource. Like many water-related resources, groundwater and climate change are inseparable. We must act now to protect and sustainably utilize this resource, among others, to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Innovation Champions lead the way for climate resilience
The International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure (ICSI), with the support of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Arcadis, has developed an innovation framework for the promotion of resilient and sustainable infrastructure from around the world. This framework is outlined in a new report, Pushing the Boundaries of Innovation in Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure, which highlights projects and cities that serve as examples of innovative solutions for climate adaptation, mitigation and development strategies. We selected, evaluated and ranked these projects and programs, which we call ICSI Innovation Champions, based on a set of key criteria and values which were informed by ASCE’s future trends and forecasting analyses and input from a global expert panel. These values determine that an ICSI Innovation Champion must have a multi-functional and holistic approach to innovative solutions. Therefore, we’ve chosen projects that address both sustainability and resilience through their innovation.
For example, a mitigation project that is focused on resilience should also include sustainability values. It’s not just about protecting communities, but about addressing the current and future needs of communities in a holistic way that creates more value and enables communities to thrive. The projects showcased in this report serve as inspiring examples of how to approach this transformative change.