Urban areas increasingly face flooding due to intense rainfall, as well as water shortages due to long droughts. The current solutions are based on rapid discharge and external supply. These are often expensive, insufficient and not sustainable. Retention and infiltration in the city are necessary in order to absorb surpluses quickly, retain these longer and then use them. The slightly deeper subsurface is hardly taken into consideration, but could deliver an important contribution. In the new Water Technology Top Sector Alliance for Knowledge and Innovation project, Urban Waterbuffer, research is being carried out into how rainwater in urban areas could be purified and retained for longer in the subsurface, without getting in the way of other functions at ground level.
The space for retention and infiltration in urban areas is usually limited. This results in conflicts with other above-ground uses of space and expensive options to deal with excess rainwater. With the Urban Waterbuffer, rainwater in urban areas could be purified and retained for longer, without getting in the way of other functions at ground level. The Urban Waterbuffer uses deeper aquifers to infiltrate, store and extract rainwater through wells. The idea is to explore whether the Urban Waterbuffer can make a significant positive contribution to reducing flooding in the city and improving water supply.
The project will study whether and how the Urban Waterbuffer should be applied in urban areas and what the hydrological, chemical, and financial impact of this is. Four cases will be developed in more detail, in Rotterdam, Rheden and The Hague. In two locations, test setups will then be set up and monitored. The aim of the project is to quantify and document the potential of the Urban Waterbuffer and to translate the lessons from the first applications to realistic, clear application and development recommendations in a handbook. This can then serve as a guide for interested end users, advisors and suppliers. A smart control system will also be developed for control and monitoring to manage the Urban Waterbuffer.