Harvesting storm water
Rainfall can represent too much water in one place at one time, especially in urban areas. Traditionally there has been an emphasis on moving this water away safely. With growing pressure on water resources, stormwater can however be a source that can be captured for local use as an alternative to regular drinking water supplies.
In the Netherlands, this harvesting of stormwater is used widely for greenhouses, which are now equipped with advanced irrigation systems. This Dutch experience includes applications that may not require treatment of the stormwater, such as garden irrigation, to sophisticated approaches aimed at preventing saline intrusion from impacting existing groundwater resources. Other uses for harvested stormwater include car washing, while other areas of expertise include using green infrastructure and nature-based systems to purify water landing on urban surfaces such as car parks before it enters an aquifer.