project

The Urban Waterbuffer

Expert(s):
Koen Zuurbier PhD

  • Start date
    01 Jun 2016
  • End date
    31 Dec 2018
  • Principal
    TKI Watertechnology
  • collaborating partners
    Wareco, Codema, Field Factors, Gemeente Rotterdam, Gemeente Rheden, Gemeente Den Haag, Delfland, Hoogheemraadschap Schieland en Krimpenerwaard, Rioned, STOWA, Evides Waterbedrijf

Urban areas increasingly face flooding due to intense rainfall and water shortages caused by longer droughts. The current solutions are based on rapid discharge and external supply, respectively. But these solutions are often expensive and unsustainable. Retention and infiltration in the city itself are necessary in order to absorb surpluses quickly, and retain them longer for subsequent use.

Water in city: a huge task

Urban areas increasingly face flooding due to intense rainfall and water shortages caused by longer droughts. The current solutions are based on rapid discharge and external supply, respectively. But these solutions are often expensive and unsustainable. Retention and infiltration in the city itself are necessary in order to absorb surpluses quickly, and retain them longer for subsequent use.

The Urban Waterbuffer: need to go deep

The space needed for water retention and infiltration in urban areas is typically limited, however. This results in conflicts with other above-ground uses of space, and in solutions that are expensive. With the Urban Waterbuffer (UWB), rainwater in urban areas could be purified and retained for longer, without obstructing other functions at ground level. The UWB uses deeper aquifers to infiltrate, store and extract rainwater through wells. The purpose of the project is to explore whether this system can make a significant positive contribution to preventing flooding and improving water supply in urban areas.

Anticipated outcome

The project will study whether and how the Urban Waterbuffer should be applied in urban areas, and what its hydrological, chemical and financial impact would be. Four cases will be developed in more detail for Rotterdam, Rheden and the Hague. In two locations, test set-ups will then be built and monitored. The aim of the project is to quantify and document the potential of the UWB, and to translate the lessons from the first applications into realistic, clear application and design 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 the control and monitoring procedures in the management of the UWB.

Concept of Urban Waterbuffer