Climate change is increasingly impacting freshwater reserves, while water demands are rising. Conversely, society is faced with extreme rain bursts that fill our streets, causing injury and damage. The centralised infrastructure is getting pressured while facing tremendous reinvestments in piped distributions systems. It is time to rethink the way we work, which is what we have committed ourselves to in SUPERLOCAL.
SUPERLOCAL aims to not lose a single drop of water from its circulation during rainfall. Rainwater from roofs and streets is collected in large underground buffers. In case of overflow, during events of extreme rainfall, , water naturally flows to infiltration ponds located in the lowest area of the neighbourhood. In this way, ground water levels are renewed, and issues of flooding mitigated.
SUPERLOCAL is unique compared to other sustainable neighbourhoods in Europe, since it produces its own drinking water. A modular treatment facility purifies rainwater into drinking water on site. This is achieved by combining different sustainable treatment steps that are safe and suitable for operating in a residential area. Can direct use of rainwater be a good alternative source for drinking water production? And in which situations? are questions that will be studied during this project. For an overview of the utilised technologies see below.
Water availability can vary drastically between shortage and abundance throughout time. Therefore, SUPERLOCAL partners developed a smart buffering system to balance peak supplies and demands. After an extreme rain event, the water factory will use more water for drinking water production. This way, more buffer capacity is created for a next rain burst. In dry periods, the clean water buffers can be filled by the centralised network during off peak moments. During peak moments of drinking water demand, SUPERLOCAL residents will not demand water from centralised services but use the local treated or stored drinking water. The centralised systems become more resilient with the local solutions in this neighbourhood.