Smart Innovations for Water Management in Cities
When we think of climate change, we first think of higher temperatures. But a bigger problem could be water. Three projects that provide solutions.
"Normally, we see the city as the problem, when facing climate impacts. But we thought, can we not see the city as a solution?" Karina Peña is co-founder of the dutch company "Field Factors" which vision is to make cities greener and more resilient by adapting to climate change. They have been developing technologies to recover rainwater and reuse it in time of droughts. At present, their most promising project is an integrated system to collect, treat, store and reuse rainwater in urban areas, called "Bluebloqs"
STORE WATER SPECIFICALLY AND REUSE IT
The first project of Bluebloqs was the football stadium of the club "Sparta Rotterdam" in the dutch city of Rotterdam. During heavy rainfall, the water at the stadium is collected, filtered and transported 15 to 30 metres deep into the ground. The clou: During longer dry periods, the water is transported back up to the surface and can be used for irrigation. "The specific problem, we tackle with Bluebloqs, is to put in balance the water availability in urban areas", Peña says in a project video.
The French company "Le Prieure", deals with heavy rain in urban areas, similar to Bluebloqs. Overlaid plastic trays assembled on the roof capture and store rain water, regulate the outflow slowly to a sewer system and dissipate water by evapotranspiration of plants through capillarity wicks, sucked from the reservoir tray.
Do not let Precious water go to waste
In agriculture, climate change naturally plays an even greater role for irrigation. In Spain, 60 trillion litres of water in agricultural irrigation reservoirs every year literally dissolve into thin air. They evaporate. Especially in hot regions and with rising temperatures, this is a serious threat to many farmers. But here too there is a solution.
The company "arana water management" from the region of Murcia produces floating plastic modules measuring around 0.3 m2. Due to their hexagonal shape, they form a sun-repellent protection on the surface of water reservoirs which reduces evaporation by up to 90 percent. And not only that. Sunlight normally causes algae to form, which can severely interfere with irrigation equipment. The floating hexagons, called "Evapo-Control" also solve this problem.
This article was developed in cooperation with BRIGAID. BRIGAID is a 4-year project (2016-2020) under EU Horizon2020 aimed to effectively bridge the gap between innovators and end-users in resilience to floods, droughts and extreme weather. The projects are part of the "Climate Innovation Window".
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