Castellón is an area with high water stress. The city, and the whole region, have a high dependency on groundwater for urban supply and the forecasts warn about the impact of climate change in the Mediterranean, thus, it is urgent to take measures to mitigate this impact.
"La Marjalería" is a peri-urban wetland associated with the city aquifer where the phreatic water surfaces. It is a crowded and inhabited area that combines residential zone with agrarian exploitations and green areas with high ecological interest.
Formerly, Marjalería remained flooded during the whole year, and it was dedicated for crop rice, but during last 50 years it was drained to avoid diseases and to favor orchards. Currently, a network of pumping wells drains the water, discharging it to ditches and channels that transport it to the sea.
In the past, urban policies did not consider climate change effects, contributing to the construction of human settlements with a greater concentration in certain areas. Currently there are around 3068 homes. Climate change is causing long dry periods with sporadic torrential rain episodes. When a rainy season occurs, if the aquifer's water level is high, the drainage network must be forced to avoid flooding. But if the rains are torrential (cold drop), the system is very compromised, and the risk of flooding is very high, even inevitable in most cases. Added to this is the challenge of making the urban settlement and its needs (energy, transport, economic development, etc.) compatible with the preservation of biodiversity and sustainable development in the wetland.
In this way we ask the following question:
How to create a Smart green-wetland in Marjaleria to adapt Castelló to effects of Climate Change?
We will work under a comprehensive perspective, focusing on finding ideas in the following areas:
- Renewable energy and water management.
- Urban planning: mobility and construction.
- Agriculture and food
- Economic development and tourism
Where ideas are treated and developed in each area, such as:
- Evidence of the effects of climate change: adaptation.
- Understand the ecosystem: climatology, aquifer, agriculture, urban planning, pollution, ecosystem.
- How do we define mobility in the area of the marjalería: only access electric cars, only bicycles, pedestrian zones, smoke-free corridors ...?
- Ecology of the area: fauna, flora ... should we preserve it? What would it be necessary to do?
- Agriculture / food: responsible / ecological agriculture? What to plant? It is profitable? Is it sustainable?
- Water reuse, purification, potabilization, use of hydraulic resources in the area.
- Energy: solar / wind / mini-hydraulic / biomass / batteries / etc ...
- Social innovation: social organization and self-management / agricultural and educational cooperatives.