Heat waves and rainstorms will become common in northern Germany as climate change deepens. To make Berlin more resilient and livable in the coming future, Berlin’s infrastructure is being redesigned to solve drainage and heat problems as climate change accelerates. Rummelsberg, built 20 years ago in east Berlin, has become a large-scale example of the Sponge City concept. Heiko Seiker is the brains behind the neighbourhood's innovative use of rainwater as a resource.
"The threat of extreme heat and climate change, however, remains an imminent public health risk in the Puget Sound region and across the globe. In addition to blistering heat waves, increased stormwater runoff, flooding, low flows, and drought are increasingly threatening public health and safety, as rainfall frequency, duration, and magnitude are contingent on the climate," stated Brigette Burich.
“Given that you can’t have everybody move out of the watershed, that’s where low impact development and managing rainwater onsite comes into play,” CJ Huxford explained. “About 25-35 percent of the water you use indoors gets flushed down the toilet or is used in your cold water laundry. So the philosophy is that if you have more people in the watershed with toilet flushing systems, there is a lot of potential cost savings.”
“The 2006 Showcasing Innovation Series was a provincial pilot. When we talked to practitioners in local government, it doesn't matter what the region, the message was the same…they tell us that they are too busy to communicate with their colleagues in neighbouring municipalities. Yet the irony is that there is much to learn by sharing information with each other. At the end of the day, it seems that it takes a third party to bring people together," stated Paul Ham.
"The aim of the Urban Forest Research Project was to illustrate the importance of urban trees as a form of ‘green infrastructure’ where they reduce rainwater runoff and rainwater intensity. In addition, trees cause a delay in precipitation reaching the ground," states Dr. Markus Weiler.
“Through our years of research and advocacy on water management issues, we realized that there was something of a disconnect between information and action. Rain Ready seeks to close that gap by making it easier for homeowners, businesses, and government leaders to create Rain Ready plans," said Harriet Festing. The Rain Ready website features videos and how-to factsheets that show rain readiness in action.
"Several presentations dealt with stormwater management in a larger community context. Several of the speakers expressed interest in writing articles on the topic for Stormwater magazine. This initiated the idea that became our Green Infrastructure & Community Design Series. Colorado-based engineer Paul Crabtree coordinated the effort," stated Janice Kasperson.
By combining sensors and cloud computing, a new pilot project in Chicago provides an innovative solution for what can be an everyday urban problem: rainwater. “We would like to know at a high level whether the green stormwater infrastructure is working,” said Brenna Berman. “Is it preventing rainwater from entering the sewer system? Which designs work better in hard rains versus soft rains? Which work better during long storms versus flash floods?”
"Despite some state government opposition, there is a great case for making stormwater resources that hit the ground on the property of local councils. This could incentivise councils to treat, harvest and sell water resources to industries or direct to citizens for non-potable uses," stated Grant Duthie. "If water authorities were required to engage councils, as the owners of stormwater resources, there would likely become far more incentive to co-develop WSUD principles."
Property redevelopment and construction of McMansions were radically altering the residential landscape. This also impacts how, and how much, rainwater runoff reaches creeks. “The District of West Vancouver has undertaken to implement a requirement for site landscaping as part of both new development and the redevelopment of properties throughout the community,” states Jim Bailey.
A scenario comparison tool to assess green infrastructure effectiveness, achieve a lighter 'water footprint' and protect stream health. Learn More
The Water Conservation Calculator illustrates how specific water conservation measures can yield both fiscal and physical water savings for communities. Learn More
This Landscape Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
This Agricultural Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
The BC Agriculture Water Calculator enables water licensing for all irrigation purposes, whether agricultural or landscape. All non-domestic users of groundwater in BC are required to obtain a licence. Learn More