Blue infrastructure

Bodies of water, watercourses, ponds, lakes and storm drainage that provide ecological and hydrological functions including evaporation, transpiration, drainage, infiltration and temporary storage of runoff and discharge.


1. See also "Green infrastructure", “Nature-based solutions” and “Infrastructure”.

2. Blue infrastructure may be considered together with “Green infrastructure” in the term "Blue-Green infrastructure”.


IPCC, (2022). Annex II: Glossary [Möller, V., R. van Diemen, J.B.R. Matthews, C. Méndez, S. Semenov, J.S. Fuglestvedt, A. Reisinger (eds.)]. In: Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [H.-O. Pörtner, D.C. Roberts, M. Tignor, E.S. Poloczanska, K. Mintenbeck, A. Alegría, M. Craig, S. Langsdorf, S. Löschke, V. Möller, A. Okem, B. Rama (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA, pp. 2897–2930, doi:10.1017/9781009325844.029.


Eastern Kolkata Wetlands (EKW), India

The historic city of Kolkata, located on the banks of the Hooghly River in eastern India, is a bustling center of culture, commerce, and politics. It is also home to the East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW), an ecological treasure covering 12,500 hectares on the city's eastern fringes. This unique system, which includes integrated aquaculture, horticulture, and agriculture, is a model for resource recovery and protection, and is recognized as a “Wetland of International Importance” by the Ramsar Convention. EKW acts as a natural barrier, protecting Kolkata from floods while treating its wastewater. It provides livelihoods for over 50,000 people through pisciculture and agriculture and is a significant carbon sink, mitigating 118 Gg of atmospheric CO2 each year (Mitsch et al. 2013). The wetlands also serve as a major food source for the city with its daily production of 150 tonnes of fresh vegetables and 10,500 tonnes of fish. However, increased urban development and improper solid waste management have disturbed the functioning of these wetlands by increasing pollution and siltation. The wetlands, nonetheless, remain a testament to the harmonious balance between environmental protection and development that is possible through community effort and initiative.



  • Nag, S. K., Nandy, S. K., Roy, K., Sarkar, U. K., & Das, B. K. (2019). Carbon balance of a sewage-fed aquaculture wetland. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 27(2), 311-322.
  • Ramsar Sites Information Service. (2002, August 19). East Calcutta Wetlands. Ramsar. Retrieved on January 13, 2023