The rain in Spain: How an ancient Arabic technique saves Alicante from floods

Source(s): Guardian, the (UK)
An "aljibe" in Cáceres, Spain. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, by flickr user Carlos
An "aljibe" in Cáceres, Spain. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, by flickr user Carlos

By Stephen Burgen

To protect itself from destructive flooding, the city has built a park designed to store and recycle rainwater

[...]

In San Juan, a low-lying area of the city, authorities have built a new park with a twist. Called La Marjal, it serves as a typical recreation area and a nature reserve – but its primary purpose is to store, and then recycle, rainwater.

In function it resembles an aljibe, a technique developed by Arab residents of Spain many centuries ago, in which rainwater is collected and stored in a kind of cistern underneath a building. La Marjal does a similar job, but outdoors. The water is also then diverted to a nearby treatment plant, where it can subsequently be used to clean streets and water parks.

[...]

“When the rainfall is too heavy for the storm drains to cope, the overflow is diverted to the park,” explains Amelia Navarro, director of sustainable development for the Alicante water authority.

“It has the capacity of 18 Olympic pools but it’s never reached more than 30%,” she says, not even after its first big in test 2017 when there was unusually heavy rain.

[...]

Explore further

Hazards Flood
Country and region Spain
Share this

Please note: Content is displayed as last posted by a PreventionWeb community member or editor. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of UNDRR, PreventionWeb, or its sponsors. See our terms of use

Is this page useful?

Yes No
Report an issue on this page

Thank you. If you have 2 minutes, we would benefit from additional feedback (link opens in a new window).