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Ognjen Regoje

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Concrete makes floods worse too

Article about the effects of climate change on flooding.

Quite informative.

Besides, obviously, climate change that is causing more rainfall, I’ve also read that it’s the amount of concrete, asphalt, pavement, etc. that’s causing more and/or worse floods.

Given that a lot of our surfaces are now paved over, in one way or another, that makes them non-porous. That means there is less area where the soil can absorb water. Therefore, all that water flows over the surface to the drainage systems.

Just as an example, if you have a house with a 100 sq.m. footprint on 200 sq.m. of land, it means the absorption capacity of that land is effectively halved.

If you take into account all the roads, buildings, other construction that covers the soil, with the increase in rainfall, it means the drainage systems can no longer handle the quantity of water.

There are several ways that this can be mitigated, besides tackling climate change:

  1. More green surfaces in cities
  2. Green roofs, that serve a double purpose of absorbing some water (though not nearly as much as regular soil) and at the same time are great insulators so they reduce heating and cooling bills
  3. Personal rain storage tanks, in individual houses or small buildings, that could then be used for flushing, gardening, exterior cleaning. Regulations vary widely for this depending on region given that municipal water supplies also rely on rain water somewhat.
  4. More porous materials in public spaces, especially for foot traffic. Porous materials aren’t as durable so they’re not suitable for case. But they do just fine for pavements and they’d let the soil absorb more rainfall.

#small #urban