Power to the People

We were recently awarded OrganiCity EU-funding for 2017-18 (@organicity_eu). Our Community Engagement Manager, Lorna Devenish, explains why our project, “Magic Water Management” is important.

Have you noticed how water in the urban space is always a problem? There’s either:

A) too much of it,

B) too little of it,  and

C) it’s always in the wrong the place.

Since the Victorians’ culverts, we’ve taken some pretty heavy-duty engineering steps to hide it out of sight andmake it less of a problem.

Some of those culverts are as big as a church. Some of the more modern open ones are like a two-lane highway.

That’s a lot of bricks and concrete to tame a stream.

The one thing we really haven’t tried is adapting so that we just…live with it…

Wouldn’t it be great if we could:

A) re-use “too much water” to limit flooding,

B) prevent “too little water” by capturing it in the first place and

C) by doing both at the same time, help our cities to adapt to what the future throws at them!

Gardeners at Southwark Council are struggling to access enough water for their water planters and green spaces. They’ve turned to us, as rainwater harvesting experts, for a solution.

We’re putting in a series of 800 L tanks fed from roof downpipes to capture rainwater for use in community gardening projects. The success of this project could see more deployed across London’s green spaces.

I’ll be working with those communities to explain what we’re doing, and, I hope, help to ensure the long-term viability of community projects.

Photo courtesy of May Project Gardens.

I’ve spoken to a lot of customers in RainWise Projects at OTA Analytics, and people love the concept of rainwater harvesting. They totally get it.Their passion for it makes me think back to a conversation I had when I first started in the water industry.

I was working in an area of the country where water bills were pretty expensive, and this was causing a lot of pain to customers. Part of my job was to justify the cost. A wise old head, the then Environment Manager, explained to me the visceral nature of people’s relationship with water. In olden times, the feudal landlord controlled the well and whoever controlled the water had the power. Putting water back in the hands of people gives them the power to grow food for themselves.

“Power to the people”, you might say? But we prefer “Community CloudCatchers…!”

Let us know what you think, tweet us… @OTAanalytics

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