The American startup AquiPor designed an alternative pavement material that can absorb rainwater.
The material’s submicron-sized pores allow water to flow through while filtering out pollutants and other solid particles.
This innovation could be crucial in cities that alternate drought and heavy rains, like Los Angeles. Indeed, it redirects stormwater into aquifers, preventing it from flowing straight into the ocean or overwhelming drains. As a result, stormwater becomes a source of fresh water rather than a threat costing hundreds of millions of dollars in storm tunnels and stormwater tanks.
Why does it matter? Cities have replaced former wetlands with parking lots, sidewalks, and roads all over the globe. Consequently, water can no longer soak into the ground. With climate change, extreme storms will become more common, and floods will therefore get worse.
Urban planning could be instrumental in mitigating flood risks by rehabilitating wetlands and adding back green space in the cities. However, where pavement is required, AquiPor’s innovation might prevent catastrophes and help cities save millions.