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Study: Rainwater Vital In Urban Planning

BARCELONA, Spain, Oct. 24 (UPI) — Rainwater collection should be considered in urban planning since it can water gardens, wash floors or vehicles and fill cisterns, Spanish researchers say.

“It is important to consider the collection of rainwater when planning and designing cities, as this is an alternative water source with many different uses; it can even be used to save drinking water,” Ramon Farreny of the Autonomous University of Barcelona said.

One finding of the study is that roofs “are the first choice for collecting rainwater in urban areas, but not all roofs function in the same way and it is necessary to select the most appropriate ones,” a release from the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology said Monday.

Plain, sloping roofs made of metal or plastic can collect up to 50 percent more rainwater than flat, rough ones with gravel, researchers said.

Water obtained from sloping roofs on the UAB campus was better in terms of physical and chemical quality compared to water collected from gravel roofs, they said.

“The inclusion of criteria related to the slope and roughness of roofs in urban planning may be useful in promoting the harvesting of rainwater as an alternative water source,” Farreny said. “This could also contribute to preventing flooding and water shortages.”

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