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Rainwater nuisance and drought in the city

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Rainwater flooding

Flooding due to heavy rainfall or high surface water levels.

Urban areas are confronted with water nuisance because of heavy rainfall, and water shortages through drought more and more often. However, the space needed for retention and infiltration is limited, which leads to conflicts with other uses of space available. 


Urban Waterbuffer

The Urban Waterbuffer is a spatial concept solution that captures and purifies rainwater, and then retains it in layers of sand. The retained water can be used at another time. This makes the urban water supply more sustainable, and the rainwater cycle can be closed. The Urban Waterbuffer restores infiltration to the groundwater located deeper below, so more fresh water is added and brackish seepage is countered.

Urban Water Buffer


  • Circular by using the retained water to supply the surrounded area
  • Amount of potable water used for irrigation is reduced
  • Makes infiltration possible in areas with high groundwater levels and/or clay or peat layers at ground level
  • Offers opportunities to expand urban green and with it, reduces heat stress
  • Counters rainwater nuisance, salinization and desiccation


  1. Topic Urban water
  2. Development state 5: Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment
  3. Setting type Urban area
  4. Water type Rainwater, Groundwater
  5. Project period 0-3 months