Navigating rivers and deltas towards a sustainable future

The Geography of Future Water Challenges report showed that transboundary river basins, coastal zones and deltas are two of the global hotspot landscapes in the search for integrated solutions for the pressures these landscapes face. The River Basin Delta Tool ‘Navigating rivers and deltas towards a sustainable future’ is a follow-up to this report.

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Bending the trend

River basins and deltas are hotspot landscapes because they are home to large — and in developing countries growing — populations that depend on the many ecosystem services these systems provide. The tool presents current and future challenges for rivers and deltas in more detail and explores various options for bending the trend in increasing pressures caused by socio-economic developments and climate change.

Shifting values and approaches based on SDGs

The ‘Geography of Future Water Challenges’ report showed that water is linked to most of the Sustainable Development Goals, and this is particularly the case for river and delta systems. The widely accepted SDGs can be used as a shared framework to inspire transformational approaches across scales. The extent to which these goals are achieved can be used as a framework for the sustainable development of river systems and deltas. Two preliminary tools provide examples to explore more sustainable future pathways and their impacts on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.


PBL Authors
Willem Ligtvoet Arno Bouwman Jan de Ruiter
Other authors
Wilfried ten Brinke


Publication title
Navigating rivers and deltas towards a sustainable future
Publication date
25 January 2021
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