Millions of Flemish residents could benefit from plans by local officials to use private wells to collect rainwater to better manage heavy rainfall and face prolonged periods of drought.
Water management company Aquafin said that it wanted to optimise water management in the region by remotely controlling up to 1.5 million private wells in Flanders.
The plan would put residents who allow access to their private wells up for compensation, which would come from either municipalities or from insurance companies, according to VRT.
The company said that it would use sensors to monitor and manage levels of rainwater collected in the wells, which it could empty in case of heavy rains or use during a drought.
The news comes as Flanders grapples with more severe periods of drought and, alternatively, with heavier rainfalls, which put both sewer holding capacity and groundwater reserve levels under strain.
The company said that, equipped with a drainage system, these wells could tackle both problems.
"The best option is to use a drainage system, that way you let the water slowly infiltrate into the soil, restoring the groundwater level," innovations director at Aquafin, Danny Baeten told the outlet.
"Combined, those wells can collect 15 billion litres of rainwater, which means we could avoid a lot of flooding," the outlet quotes the company as saying.
Aquafin's Baeten said that the plans would also benefit local authorities, who would not have to finance rainwater basins, as well as insurance companies, who would receive fewer compensations claims from flooding.
The Brussels Times