Nature-based Solutions and IOB

A nature-based solution

Biological swimming pool is a Nature-based Solution that approaches water and health security for bath waters from an ecosystem approach. It applies natural processes as the basis to keep pool water in optimal conditions for bath and reduces all the impacts of standard treatments at the time that contributes to maintain freshwater biodiversity by restoring aquatic ecosystems.

Biological pools are built lakes that mimic and recreate the ecological processes that occur in natural systems, constituting a natural engineering solution, which allows creating aquatic leisure spaces with low environmental impact. In these systems, water purification, with the objective of having quality for bathing purposes, is performed by biological filters and aquatic plants (use of ecosystem services). As no chemical is added to the water these systems are quickly colonized by plankton, macroinvertebrates and some vertebrates, promoting the maintenance of biodiversity and increasing the aesthetic value of the environment (conservation and restoration of ecosystem services). Biological pools also function, on a landscape scale, as habitats that facilitate the flow of some species between different watercourses and as reservoirs of water.

The users of the natural swimming pool will remember it as a show case of good water practice (no additives, only biological processes are cleaning) and a place of natural beauty and biotope for wetland species like amphibians and water insects.

A natural swimming pool has many different kinds of impacts:

• Contributes for the wellbeing of its users by offering a much healthier form for swimming than conventional solutions for cleaning swimming water.
• Starves water by using inland water with techniques of bioeconomy.
• Reduces energy consumption per bather or square meter compared to conventional solutions.
• Reduces the impact to the ozone lack in the atmosphere, partly caused by chlorine gazes.
• Captures CO2, acting as a sink (like most wetlands)
• It is resource efficient because natural swimming pools do not produce any
liquids harmful for the environment because the water quality is equal to water
of meso- to oligotrophic shallow lakes.
• Natural swimming pools can act as step-stone habitats for a lot of wetland related organisms like amphibians and water insects.

Source of the text: IUCN: Towards Nature-based Solutions in the Mediterranean