Thematic approach

Partners for Water facilitates and promotes sustainable approaches to solving global water challenges.

During the Partners for Water 2022 – 2027 Programme, we do so by concentrating on two themes: Nature-based Solutions (NBS) and Water-Biodiversity-Food. By actively promoting NBS and the conservation and restoration of biodiversity within food production systems, we aim to enhance water security worldwide. Discover how to get involved.

Nature-based solutions (NBS)

Nature-based Solutions (NBS) are sustainable alternatives to traditional infrastructure that make use of the natural landscape to improve flood risk management and water security. For example, maintaining sand nourishment to protect a coast from flooding, or using mangroves or other types of natural vegetation to stop erosion.

In the Netherlands, we have been working with Nature-based Solutions for some time. They are an effective way to improve water security and the natural values of an area. However, outside the Netherlands, many governments and companies use traditional solutions, such as dams and other structures. Internationally, this ‘grey infrastructure’ is still the standard. Partners for Water is promoting the adoption of Nature-based Solutions at scale by concentrating on early-stage infrastructure projects.

Read about Nature-based Solutions

Water-Biodiversity-Food (WBF)

Due to the traditional focus on food production and other uses of water, Partners for Water works to advance the position of biodiversity in water distribution issues. The approach focuses on improving the water balance and water management in an area in order to increase biodiversity. When it comes to water use, biodiversity is suffering almost everywhere causing animal and plant species to disappear from their natural habitats.

This theme is directed towards system changes where stakeholders consider biodiversity as an integral factor in decision-making around water use, water balance and water management in an area. This is done, for example, by conducting research into the water use of avocado cultivation. This is about regulating water use, so that both food cultivation and nature become more resistant to climate risks.

Read about Water-Biodiversity-Food

Discover where Partners for water is actively working on Nature-based Solutions and Water-Biodiversity & food


Partners for Water focuses on the following interventions:

  • Preparatory studies and advice. Think of model studies, (pre-)feasibility studies, scoping, design workshops and capacity building.
  • Evaluation through required pilots (proof of concept).
  • Accompanying advice for implementation at scale.

The interventions are intended to stimulate new or improved processes to achieve water-related sustainability goals. Partners for Water supports projects from local or international partners. As a result, it is never a stand-alone project. It is vital that we have strong local embedding and insight into the implementation of recommendations.


This approach should lead to more sustainable solutions for complex water issues abroad. And that in turn contributes to the goal of improving water security in the partner country.

Contributing to water issues

Does your organisation want to contribute to water security abroad?

Messages about new assignments (tenders) appear regularly on the website, the LinkedIn page and in the newsletter.
In addition, Partners for Water frequently organises country meetings with local partners and the Dutch water sector and shares messages online about the results of ongoing or completed projects.

Sign up for the newsletter