Floods are one hallmark of climate crisis, causing damage and devastation to cities worldwide
Aquipor, a startup specializing in urban stormwater systems, has created a porous pavement to stave off ever-increasing, more intense vloede.
Floods are one hallmark of the climate crisis, causing damage and devastation to cities worldwide. From western Germany to Houston, Texas, floods have ruined homes and killed people.
Along with the emotional damage that comes with floods, repairing a city costs billions of dollars. A study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said increased rain from 1988 deur 2017, in part due to the climate crisis, costs the US an additional 2.5 billion in flood damage.
One reason floods are able to occur in a city is the ubiquitous pavement that covers sidewalks, roads, and parking lots. If it’s raining heavily, the water cannot be absorbed into the ground.
“Pavement has a use,” Greg Johnson, the CEO of Aquipor, vertel Fast Company. “But the problem is that we have too much of it in our cities.”
To help reduce floods, Aquipor created an alternative material with small holes that let rain through. While other pavement intended to let water pass has been created, the bigger holes get easily clogged with dirt in rainwater. Aquipor’s pores are different in that the pores are tiny, allowing for water to pass through, but halting the pollutants in rainwater.
The company has a big vision of this material to cover sidewalks and parking lots, but for now, they’re testing the material on private land.
Transforming cities with this pavement can be a cheaper alternative, ook. It’d cost around $5 million to cover Spokane, Washington, with this material. To compare, the cost of transforming a small city in an under-resourced country is around $20 aan $50 million dollars, according to the United Nations group UN-Habitat.
While the porous pavement may help rainwater sink into the ground, it’s unclear if the pavement can offset increasingly heavier and more frequent rain.