Urgent: collect water in cities

climate change, storm water, asphalt, green infra, city, dehydration, water crisis

Stop asphalt and start permeable pavement in cities to manage storm waters

Climate change and impervious surfaces enlarge problems of dehydration in many cities.

A lot of cities have surfaces that almost not let rainfall through and threaten the amount of drinking water for millions. What can cities do to develop a ‘green infrastructure’?

In the last few decades, cities focus has shifted from “capture, convey, and treat” traditional drainage systems to more sustainable systems to manage storm and melt water runoff. They are often referred to as ‘green infrastructure’.

Delay storm water

Cities also look at their ability to delay the arrival of water that reaches the sewer system. Reducing the water flow is helpful because it reduces combined sewer overflows and localized flooding.

Moreover, green infrastructure reduces pollutants entering the storm water system.

Pollutants like nutrients (from fertilizers), road salt, and bacteria, can negatively affect aquatic life and public health. Green infrastructure captures these pollutants, especially those that might run off at the beginning of a storm.

green infra, city, metropol, flood, rainwater harvesting, climate change, dehydration

Sidewalks, bike lanes, and parts of the roadway can be reconstructed using permeable pavement

Green infra solutions

  • Green roofs and rain gardens are stimulated to collect water and keep it out of storm water
  • Cities are using retention ponds or vegetated swales to retain storm water runoff
  • Sidewalks, bike lanes, and parts of the roadway can be reconstructed using permeable pavement (picture)
  • The streetscape includes vegetated planters
  • Rain harvesting systems with permeable stones for streets and parkings from Aquaflow are connected with below-ground infiltration basins.
  • Watersquares will fill up in a controlled manner during heavy rainfall, preventing surrounding streets from flooding. In dry periods, these water plazas can be effectively used as open public spaces

Final: fix the water leaks in cities

Fixing the leaks not only saves millions of litres of water but will also reduce the amount and cost of energy needed for water production and distribution. Some 75 percent! of the cost of municipal water processing and distribution is tied to electricity needs


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