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Stormwater Retention and Reuse at the Residential Plot Level—Green Roof Experiment and Water Balance Computations for Long-Term Use in Cyprus

Charalambous, Katerina, Bruggeman, Adriana, Eliades, Marinos, Camera, Corrado, Vassiliou, Loukia
Water 2019 v.11 no.5
Euphorbia, Frankenia, deficit irrigation, evapotranspiration, green roofs, greywater, rain, semiarid zones, stormwater, survival rate, urban areas, water harvesting, Cyprus
Green roofs can provide various benefits to urban areas, including stormwater retention. However, semi-arid regions are a challenging environment for green roofs as long dry weather periods are met with short but intense rainfall events. This requires green roofs to retain maximum volumes of stormwater, while being tolerant to minimal irrigation supplies. The objectives of this study are (i) to quantify the stormwater retention of two substrate mixtures with two plant species under natural rainfall; (ii) to assess the performance of two plant species under two levels of deficit irrigation; and (iii) to compute stormwater runoff reduction and reuse by green roofs and rooftop water harvesting systems for three standard residential plot types in urban Nicosia, Cyprus. A rooftop experiment was carried out between February 2016 and April 2017 and results were used to compute long-term performance. Average stormwater retention of the 16 test beds was 77% of the 371-mm rainfall. A survival rate of 88% was recorded for Euphorbia veneris and 20% for Frankenia laevis, for a 30% evapotranspiration irrigation treatment. A combination of a green roof, rainwater harvesting system and 20-m3 tank for irrigation and indoor greywater use reduced stormwater runoff by 47–53%, for the 30-year water balance computations.