Water boards and municipalities often have an active policy to ensure that an unnecessary amount of ‘clean’ water does not end up in treatment plants or that flooding is caused by heavy rains. An unnecessary amount of rainwater goes directly through drain pipes and street gutters into the sewer, on the way to a treatment plant. This is a shame since rainwater does not need to be intensively purified.
Due to changes in temperature and longer dry periods we see that the city is getting warmer. In addition, the amount of stone buildings and roofs ensures that the warm air comes into contact with colder air streams. As a result, most of the landfill is just above the city. Rain showers can cause nuisances, such as streets or basements that are flooded. Many experts believe that this will happen more often due to climate change.
Flooding usually occurs in low-lying areas or in densely populated areas with a lot of pavement. That is because the water here is difficult to drain. Sometimes a rain shower is so severe that sewer water flows to the surface water via overflows and is contaminated with household waste water from the kitchen, bathroom and toilet. Because it is unnecessarily expensive to adjust all sewers to the greatest possible rainfall, municipalities and water boards opt for other solutions. Among other things, by temporarily collecting rainwater in ponds and ravines, where it then gradually drops into the soil.
Initiatives such as ‘Operation Steenbreek’ are of great importance for this reason: replace tiles with green. The streets become narrower, so there is no room for trees. In addition, more and more gardens are now full of tiles. This phenomenon only causes more warming of the city. Nowadays we see more and more solar panels appearing on roofs, this will again provide more heat in the city. The consequences are already visible: more particulate matter due to heat, more mortality due to heat. In short, the city is in need of a renewal!
Water that falls must be better managed. It must not leave the city through the sewer, but be collected and used on the spot. Green roofs hold around half of the rainwater and drain water. A green water-purifying wall full of plants coupled to this ensures clean water.
Green Art Solutions works with various systems that hold a lot of water. These systems allow more water to evaporate: an absolute ‘must’ for the city. By evaporation, this water is then returned to the atmosphere. That is why these planting roofs provide cooling in the summer. The best known are green roofs with sedum (succulents), grass or wild plants. A green roof will last one and a half times as long thanks to the protection of the plants. The extra advantage of green roofs is that they retain particulate matter and therefore make a positive contribution to air quality.
Rainwater is a gift!
When we look at drinking water in the world, we see that it is a serious problem. Water rations are installed in some cities. Cape Town in South Africa is the most worrying example of this.
In the Netherlands we still feel that we are a waterland. However, when you realize that our drinking water has to be pumped up from deep underground layers, the stock is in fact, just like with oil and gas, also finite and it is actually unheard of to use this clean water for rinsing our toilet. That is why we strongly support the better use of rainwater so that our drinking water supply will last for many generations.
On an annual basis there is 800 mm of precipitation per square meter. We can store and use rainwater in various ways. You can store water by placing a water bag under the house or by creating natural water basins in the garden. This water can then be used to cool the house in a natural way, after which it is naturally purified by a green vertical plant wall. This process keeps the water clean and is usable for domestic use.
This whole contributes to a healthy living environment. Besides creating more green, there is also an important contribution to natural cooling by evaporation of water. Drinking water is no longer unnecessarily used for all kinds of household matters. The water from dishwasher, washing machine and shower water can be reused by cleaning it on site. The lifespan of your washing machine and dishwasher will also increase because there is much less chalk in rainwater. All this makes for an even greater contribution to the environment. Water boards want dirty water, so they are not waiting for rainwater.
In short, Green Art Solutions can produce potable water from recycled water through sustainable green water management systems and its patented water-purifying green wall. The water boards welcome this. Rainwater does not need to be intensively purified. No larger sewer systems have to be installed. And also a contribution is being made to cooling the city in a natural ‘green’ way!