Frank van Steenbergen, Taye Alemayehu, Kifle Woldearegay and Marta Agujetas Perez
The basic idea of “roads for water” is to make roads instruments of beneficial water management and resilience. Roads make a major imprint on hydrology. They block and guide water, concentrate runoff, interfere with subsurface flows, and change flooding patterns. Ibisch et al. (2016) describe the fragmentation of landscapes that has come with road development. They calculate that, at present, 20 percent of the global land surface is within one kilometer (km) of a road. These are also the areas where most people live and where economic activities are concentrated. If there is an opportunity to contribute to greater water security, it is this: ensuring that roads contribute to water management.
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