Operational data of the Star City rainwater harvesting system and its role as a climate change adaptation and a social influence

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The Star City rainwater harvesting system (RWHS) was featured in the December, 2008, issue of Water 21. The article highlighted that the RWHS has a 3,000 m3 rainwater tank used in water saving, flood mitigation, and emergency response. Since then, many news media, public officials, and people from both South Korea and abroad have visited the RWHS. In this paper, two years of the system's operational data are presented and its role in short- and long-term climate change adaptation is investigated. The downstream sewer system has become safe for a 50-year rainfall without upgrading the existing sewer system, which was designed for a 10-year period. The 26,000 m3 of water saved has reduced the energy requirement of transferring water from a distant area. The success of the Star City RWHS has influenced 47 cities across South Korea, including Seoul, to enact regulations on rainwater management. It has shown that decentralized rainwater management can supplement the existing centralized system to ensure its safety.

Keywords: climate change adaptation, decentralized rainwater management, rainwater harvesting, star city

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