Brest water retention solutions for stormwater management and green gardens

In 2018 the plan for a new form of stormwater management project in Brest metropolis was approved as part of the communities 2019-2025 Climate Air Energy Plan. The plan will offer citizens the opportunity to buy rainwater barrels at a 70% reduced price. The water barrels will benefit citizens by reducing water consumption and as a result lower the cost of water use in gardening. The promotion of water retention will also help reduce sewage system stress in times of heavy rainfall.

It is estimated that with 20 mm of rainwater falling during 24 hours every month, around 10 liters of water equivalent to around 200 watering cans can be stored and used for free.

Image by Werner Augustin Jukel from Pixabay 

Brest Metropolis provides its citizens with a few tips and tricks to help retain water, promote biodiversity, and save money:

  • When the water barrel is overflowing the water will spill out and infiltrate the garden naturally.
  • When there is heavy rain, water is retained in the lowest parts of the garden. Planting vegetation in these locations can help to slow down filtration rates. In the hours after rainfall, the soil will slowly absorb the rainwater acting like a sponge reducing flooding.
  • Water your vegetable garden with water from the rainwater barrel and adding mulch and compost to your vegetable garden will help to increase water retention during heavy rainfall.  
  • Garden waste, such as grass cuttings can be used to help develop soil quality around shrubbery by improving soil biodiversity while increasing water infiltration rates.
  • The use of permeable paving for drives and sidewalks allows water to infiltrate into the soil; Avoid using pesticides or harsh chemicals when trying to reduce weeds, the use of hot water can achieve the same result without damaging wildlife.
  • Flowerbeds can be planted to maximize water flow and drainage. For example, creating a natural trough will draw water towards the planted flowers.
  • Road verges can capture water from road runoff and sidewalks. These can be used to replace grey infrastructure, such as road gutters.
  • Avoid polluting the water with the use of roof pesticides. These can accumulate in your garden and cause harm to biodiversity.    

Increasing effects of climate change can be mitigated through Nature-based Solutions. Nature’s gift of rainwater helps to balance times of excess rainwater with emerging water shortages. Harvesting rainwater, which has been used for centuries, has shown its relevance.

High water bills, global warming, and water restrictions, as well as pollution due to stormwater run-off, have all made rainwater harvesting a valuable solution for greener, more climate-resilient cities.

To access the Brest infographic please click here.