Innovative urban drainage

Tile-based system to combat flooding and droughts in cities

About this project

The EU-funded LIFE CERSUDS project has developed an innovative and sustainable urban drainage system that uses low-value ceramic tiles to filter water through paving. The system provides a way for cities to adapt to climate change by reducing the impact of flooding and facilitating reuse of stored water.

A drainage system to tackle the effects of climate change

It is a priority for the EU to promote sustainable investment projects that create jobs. It has thus co-financed LIFE CERSUDS, the objective of which is to provide cities with green infrastructure and sustainable drainage systems. This will enable them to cope with natural phenomena arising from climate change, such as floods.

Created from low-value ceramic tiles laid on permeable bases, the LIFE CERSUDS pavement filters water into the ground. The excess runs into a channel under the cycle path so that it can be recovered and used to irrigate landscaped areas. The channel also regulates flows into the network during peak precipitation periods.

The first phase of the project takes place in Benicàssim, to check its viability. Its application is planned in other areas of Spain, as well as in Italy and Portugal.

LIFE CERSUDS enhances the performance of the natural functions of the soil through the installation of a permeable pavement that improves use of natural resources such as water and reduces the impact of floods caused by torrential rain. The prevention of natural disasters using sustainable solutions is a big step towards the adaptation of cities to climate change, one of the main focuses of the European Commission.

The Commission therefore provided LIFE CERSUDS with €986,947 in financing through its LIFE programme

Project facts
  • Spain’s Insurance Compensation Consortium estimates that flooding causes €800 million worth of damage per year
  • The LIFE CERSUDS project has set up a 3,200 m2 demonstrator of its ceramic tile-based drainage system in one of the main streets in Benicàssim, Valencia
  • Valencia produces 80% of Spain's ceramic tiles
  • The system will help resolve flooding problems and provide an outlet for unused stock from the ceramic industry
Institute for Ceramic Technology (ITC-AICE)
EU Funding:
EUR 986 947
Polytechnic University of Valencia, Municipality of Benicàssim, CHM, Trencadís de sempre, Centro Ceramico Bologna and Centro Tecnológico da Cerâmica e do Vidro
Spain, Benicasim
2016 - 2019
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