Today’s Solutions: May 24, 2022

In Alicante, it never rains, but it pours. The city in southeast Spain goes without rain for months on end, but when it comes, it’s torrential, bringing destructive and sometimes fatal flooding – or, at least, it used to.

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. In southern Spain, where water is increasingly becoming a scarce resource, the aljibe represents a brilliant solution to water management.

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