The water catchment area of the Emscher is one of the most densely populated regions throughout Europe. The Emschergenossenschaft (Emscher Association) and the municipality of Bottrop (DE) engaged in a cooperation to make two industrial parks climate proof. To contribute to mitigation, the Emschergenossenschaft improves the mass
and energy flow at a waste water treatment plant.
Municipal waste water treatment plants in cities consume an average of 15% of the energy demand of public infrastructure. Therefore, the Emschergenossenschaft works hard to reduce its energy demand. Within the scope of the Future Cities project the focus was laid on the key components, i.e. water systems and energy efficiency.
In addition, the use of renewable energy sources at the waste water treatment plant was studied to increase the micro energy generation. The main idea of all the measures is to make the waste water treatment plant self-sufficient by using renewable energy sources.
The Emschergenossenschaft wanted to take a closer look at what climate change really means to the region and what can and needs to be done today in spite of the existing uncertainties. Although there is very good climate change data available there remain uncertainties with regard to the accuracy of the projections. As a consequence, the water board developed a “Climate Change Guideline” as a basis for its long term ‘no regret’ strategy:
- All decisions and measures involving climate change consider the uncertainties, the special needs and solutions of the experts from different divisions.
- The existing infrastructure is sustained and adapted to future requirements.
- The impact of climate change is compensated by strengthening the natural water cycle, e.g. disconnection of paved areas and decentralised retaining and infiltration of rainwater.
“The development of the guidance climate change was an important step for us to consider climate change adaptation in all kinds of projects for now and in the future.”
Matthias Weilandt, Future Cities – project manager of Emschergenossenschaft
Photo credit: “iStock.com”. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from Future Cities.