Making beer with rain

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Climate change is turning rainwater into more of a nuisance than ever in the Netherlands, bringing more rain and rising seas. That means, even more, challenges for a country where more than half the land is already below sea level.

Joris Hoebe Hemelswater Electric Van

Hoebe isn’t alone in trying to think of rainwater differently.

“One of the things we say is, ‘Do what you have to do, but do it rainproof,’” says Daniel Goedbloed, who runs the city water board’s Amsterdam Rainproof Project.

Goedbloed and his team help improve what’s called Amsterdam’s “sponge capacity.” One of its big initiatives is installing special rooftop gardens that can collect and store up to 80 millimeters of water, about 3 inches, per rainfall. The water is slowly released to help keep the city’s storm drains from overflowing. continues at

image: PRI