SABICAS - Gausa catchment case study

Area characterisation: 

The case study catchment Gausa in South-Central Norway is one of two SABICAS case studies (the other is Halden River (Haldenvassdraget) in South-East Norway)

Gausa catchment: South central Norway. Mid-to-high altitude. Catchment area 932 km2 , average water discharge 18 m3 /s. Sediment redeposition cause flooding in lower parts. Land use: Forests, mountains, and agriculture (grassland and animal husbandry). NbS to be studied: Riparian buffer zones between meadow and river. Reclaimed floodplain.


SABICAS (SAfeguard BIodiversity and improve Climate Adaptation in catchment areas under pressure: tools and Solutions) aims to provide tools and knowledge needed to quantify the benefits and co-benefits of nature-based solutions. The goal is to facilitate dialogue and decision making among stakeholders and managers. SABICAS will engage with all key catchment stakeholders through several activities, including workshops and living labs.

Potential impacts/benefits: 

SABICAS will study how small parts of land area can be transformed into NbS without major economic losses. The overall aim is to develop a user-friendly toolbox to optimize the use of NbS at the catchment scale.

SABICAS will contribute:

  • Balancing societal land use needs with the need to protect biodiversity and adapt to climate change
  • Filling key knowledge gaps
  • Propose innovative solutions to implement NbS in Norwegian river management
  • Accelerate multi-functional, multi-beneficial, crosssectoral and interdisciplinary future use of NbS 
  • Improve sustainable use and management of land
NbS benefits 
  • Developing climate change adaptation; improving risk management and resilience
  • Reduce flood risk
  • Reduce run-off
  • Reducing temperature at meso or micro scale
  • Developing climate change mitigation
  • Increase Biodiversity
  • Increased cultural richness and biodiversity
  • Improve water quality
  • Increase awareness of NBS solution & their effectiveness and co benefits
  • Increase population & infrastructures protected by NBS
  • Increase social interaction
  • Increase stakeholder awareness & knowledge about NBS
  • Increase well-being
  • Social learning about location & importance of NBS

SABICAS is funded by The Research Council of Norway (project no. 320176)

NbS classification 
  • Wetlands
  • Riparian zones
  • Floodplains

Further information

Project manager:

Benjamin Kupilas , NIVA

+47 98 22 85 72

Project leader:

Nikolai Friberg, NINA

+47 98 29 41 41