Incorporating Social Equity into Nature-Based Solutions

Summary

Whether they are natural, manmade or a combination of the two, infrastructure projects
for managing water resources are not always distributed evenly across time, space, or
populations. Infrastructure managers bear a responsibility for ensuring all members of
a community are being fairly served by infrastructure choices. To support sustainable
nature-based solutions, these managers need a clear and concise set of guidelines for
incorporating equity into project decision making.

Approach and Deliverables

Our goal is to develop a set of operational actions that infrastructure managers can
use to meaningfully incorporate social equity into water resources decisions. To investigate the latest science and practices for incorporating social equity factors
into infrastructure decisions, we will interview infrastructure professionals and scholars
working in this area and examine peer-reviewed literature and U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers studies where equity concerns played a prominent role in decision making.

Based on our findings, we will create a framework that infrastructure mangers can use for
assessing social equity in project planning. This decision framework will be published in
an open access peer-reviewed journal and communicated widely through channels such as
webinars and trade magazines.

Lead researcher

Don Nelson, University of Georgia, dnelson@uga.edu