Existing stormwater infrastructure is designed to move stormwater away from source to an end destination as quickly as possible, whereas Green Infrastructure (GI) reduces the flow and manages storm water at source.
GI aims to mimic a natural, undeveloped environment which utilises vegetation, soils and other natural elements to absorb and filter stormwater, producing a cleaner and more manageable effluent. Whilst treating water and reducing flow rates, GI can also provide habitats, flood protection and health benefits.
The versatile and flexible nature of GI means that it can easily be installed at home, work, local parks, car parks, shopping centres, institutions and other locations. To see examples of GI, click on thumbnail images below. Dublin City Council encourages the installation of GI and continues to introduce aspects of GI in green spaces throughout Dublin city.
Examples of GI include
- Rainwater retention planter – a box containing plants that collect and use rainwater from your roof.
- Rain Gardens - Can be installed in almost any green space and act as shallow vegetated basins which collect, absorb and filter stormwater runoff.
- Roof Gardens - Can transform a regular roof to a colourful and vibrant space covered with vegetation that enables rainfall infiltration and evapotranspiration.
- Water Butts - Harvest rain water and store it for later use for gardening, car washing or toilet flushing. They are also effective in slowing down and reducing the flow of stormwater during heavy rainfall events.
- Permeable Pathways - Infiltrate and or store rainwater where it falls reducing the risk of flooding.
- Bioswales - Are gently sloped channels that slow, infiltrate and filter stormwater flows. They are particularly suited along streets or pathways due to their linear nature.
- Integrated Constructed Wetlands - Treat and slow intercepted waters providing a habitat for flora and fauna to flourish.
While there are numerous benefits to using GI, including flood alleviation, improved water quality, enhanced biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and even increased property prices, there is some outlay necessary to implement GI, particularly when retrofitting an existing property or area.
There may be funding available for community-driven GI projects. Some examples of funding sources include:
Please be aware of opening and closing dates for funding applications. Please also note that some funds have finite lifetimes and monetary value.
Collaboration with other groups and bodies can sometimes strengthen your funding application.
Case Study – The Stoneybatter Rainwater Planter Community Project
This community-led project is funded through the Community Water Development Fund and is a collaboration between residents in Stoneybatter, LAWPRO and Dublin City Council’s Flood Projects and Water Framework Directive Office.
The aim of this project is to install rainwater retention planters in a number of properties in Stoneybatter. The rainwater retention planters are designed in accordance with Dublin City Council’s A how-to-guide for Rainwater Planters. (LINK)
The first planter was installed in February 2021. This installation was used in the making of our video (LINK) on how to construct a rainwater planter. This video complements our how-to guide for rainwater planters.
As this is a community-focused project, the planters will be constructed by Arbour Hill prison. They will be installed in each house by a local handyman.
The primary benefits to the householders include the opportunity to increase the amount of vegetation, including pollinators and colourful plants, on their properties and to use rainwater in a sustainable way. For example, they will not need to use drinking water to water the plants in the planter.
The benefit to Dublin City Council from this project is a delay and reduction in rainwater flowing from these properties to the public drainage network. The public drainage network in Stoneybatter is combined, meaning that both sewage and rainfall flow into the same sewer pipe. By minimising the amount of rainfall entering into the combined sewer, it may be possible to reduce the frequency of sewage overflows to the River Liffey.
Rainwater retention planters are one tool that householders can use to help address this problem. The more Green Infrastructure, including planters, installed in our city, the greater the benefit.