Grey infrastructure


From the perspective of Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM), grey infrastructure usually refers to the traditional methods of managing water, using man-made, constructed assets, most often water tight and designed to avoid any type of ecosystem to grow on it. Modern grey infrastructure such as permeable pavements and some roof water retention systems mimic the natural water retention capacity of the landscape and help to restore more natural patterns of run-off and infiltration. It includes channels, pipes, sewers and sewage treatment works, ditches, dikes, dams... Grey infrastructure is so-called because it is often constructed of concrete. Unlike green infrastructure, grey infrastructure typically does not deliver multiple benefits. Grey infrastructure such as sewers and sewage treatment works are needed in urban areas but their effectiveness can be enhanced by green engineering measures which help to restore the natural water retention capacity of the landscape.

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Last updated: 04 Mar 2015 | Top