A nature-based solution to create water reserves in urban areas

2 min read
Bluebloqs circular water systems is an international 2-year Demonstration project funded by the EIT Climate KIC.

Climate change is alarmingly affecting the rain cycles, causing an increase in droughts and floods around the world, something that are challenging to keep the water infrastructure uptime. Healthy urban water systems are fundamental for our lives. We need them to secure food and drinking water production, clean air, social and economic welfare, even for our health and happiness.

A large number of cities around the world are dealing with the same Urban Challenges, which are;

  • Large paved surfaces that prevent the absorption of water by the ground.
  • A rapid increase in the population that makes existing infrastructure obsolete.
  • Increased demand for freshwater.
  • Overexploitation of underground water tables.
  • Inability to supply water for long periods of drought. 

Figure representing the processes that make up the bluebloqs system.

Bluebloqs, an innovative solution.

Bluebloqs is a nature-based system for circular water management in urban areas. Bluebloqs offers an innovative solution for decentralised water supply in urban areas. Innovative bio-filtration and deep infiltration techniques are combined through an integrated system for stormwater collection, treatment, storage and reuse. The system requires a minimum use of space, avoiding conflicts with other functions: a compact bio-filtration system is spatially fitted as a green feature, and the purified water is stored in the aquifers in the subsurface, from where it can be recovered for different urban applications: e.g. irrigation, industrial processes or combating urban heat. The essence of the Bluebloqs technology is:

  • Collection of stormwater run-off from paved surfaces, such as roofs, streets and parking.
  • Retention measures at ground level to temporary retain the collected stormwater.
  • Treatment of the collected stormwater by means of bio-filtration techniques within Bluebloqs Biofilter.
  • Storage of the purified water in the deeper sand layers via infiltration wells.
  • Reuse of the infiltrated water for different applications, such as irrigation of sport fields and urban green, industrial processes or reducing heat stress.

Figure representing the first Bluebloqs' prototype biofilter installed at the Sparta Stadium in the Netherlands.


The main objective is to accelerate the transition towards decentralized urban water systems to create climate-resilient cities. 

Through the development of 4 demonstration projects, the project seeks to underpin a transformative implementation strategy, able to impact at the system level.

The specific objectives are:

  • To implement and test Bluebloqs in four demo sites within different local ecosystems, gathering empirical evidence to optimise technical performance of the system within the social, institutional, climate and economic context.
  • To enhance social acceptance and stakeholder engagement for the uptake of the solution by showcasing the Bluebloqs system through demonstration projects throughout Europe.
  • To support the wider implementation by developing a roadmap to market uptake, based on a sustainable business model, an optimised system configuration, a product-service line and scaling strategy.
  • To inspire the transition towards urban decentralise water systems and facilitate their future implementation by developing a vision on a grid of green circular systems for water management and supply.