Press release

New Initiative to Boost Natural Infrastructure for Communities across Canada’s Prairies to Launch Tomorrow

September 14, 2022

WINNIPEG, Sep 14, 2022—A new 5-year initiative to scale up natural infrastructure in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba to ensure cleaner water and resilient communities launches tomorrow.

Natural Infrastructure for Water Solutions (NIWS), an initiative of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), aims to tackle the growing water challenges facing the Prairies through the power of natural infrastructure.

A virtual launch event on September 15, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. (CST) will explore the future of natural infrastructure and water management across the Prairies and feature remarks from Terry Duguid, M.P., Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and a panel discussion with experts.

Participants can still register here.

NIWS focuses on the need to make a stronger business case for natural infrastructure by demonstrating how impactful and cost-effective it can be. It will also encourage local municipalities to adopt more natural infrastructure projects, enable access to funding for those who want to implement natural infrastructure, and make sure natural infrastructure is supported and championed by all levels of government through policy.

“For us, thriving communities are places where people have access to clean, fresh water; can depend on reliable and sustainable infrastructure year-round; and are protected from the ever-increasing impacts of climate change,” said Richard Florizone, President and CEO, International Institute for Sustainable Development, who will announce the new initiative during the virtual launch tomorrow.

“And we have an answer: natural infrastructure—which involves planning and building with nature to meet our growing infrastructure needs.”

“That’s why—building on IISD’s strong legacy championing natural infrastructure solutions over multiple decades—NIWS brings together partners to look at ways in which natural infrastructure can help meet the water needs of local communities,” said Florizone.

Natural infrastructure is a way to plan and build with nature to meet our infrastructure needs.

It is managed to provide specific infrastructure benefits, with the potential for many other social and environmental benefits. There is increasing evidence that natural infrastructure can deliver much-needed water outcomes cost-efficiently while also providing areas for recreation and habitat to support wildlife, as well as improving the overall resilience of our communities.

Examples range from wetlands to stormwater parks to green roofs.

IISD's work on water and natural infrastructure is funded by multiple sources, including support for the NIWS initiative from the BHP Foundation.


For more information, or to arrange an interview with an expert about NIWS, please contact: Sumeep Bath,

Editorial and Communications Manager, IISD Experimental Lakes Area

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.

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