[CHALLENGE] Imagine Zero Rainwater Pollution - Call for participant

Imagine Zero rainwater pollution - Call for participant during the OSCE days

Circular economy is not only about waste recycling but also about water management.

Did you know that rain water is the biggest pollution factor for surface water in Berlin?

Collecting, treating, and re-using most of rain water directly from apartment buildings is part of the solution to reduce pollution.
How about developing an open source solution which will be implemented
everywhere in Berlin?

Do you want to be part of this great adventure working on an open source project which will enable people to manage rain water pollution and design a better future in living areas?

Come and join the call for participant Imagine Zero rainwater pollution challenge!
Veolia is looking to organise in the coming months the development of an open source rainwater reservoir for urban aeras.
The OSCE days is the perfect occassion for:

  • Raising awarness around rainwater pollution

  • Get designers, engineers, students, urbanists, gardener ect…involved in the Open Source rainwater reservoir project

  • First brainstorm on Monday 15th about the project development
    Which format: hackathon, workshop, seminar?
    1st ideas for the rainwater resevoir: materials, design, use…

If you have any questions please contact directly @patelidur (he will provides more information)

public domain image


Nowadays techniques exist in urban areas to reduce the volume of rain water pollution and treat it but it still not enough. Indeed we still can’t bath in the Spree! … and these well known techniques such as rainwater filter, rainwater basins or green roofs are also very expensive.

Water management companies and organizations such as Veolia have been working on this topic for quite a long time now, focusing mainly on high tech solutions. However it appears that open source solutions show fast innovation capacities. They turn to be very efficient providing economical alternatives.

That’s why Imagine Zero rainwater pollution is about developing an affordable and open source rainwater reservoir that could be easily implemented in apartment buildings to reduce the discharge in the water network.

Are you still wondering how this open source rainwater reservoir can have a big impact?

The maths are quite simple:

City of Berlin:

1 million m³ max/
day normal rainy day

1 million apartment buildings

SOLUTION : implement a 1 m³ reservoir / building


Day 1 : Thursday 11th June at 07 pm

The organizers will give a short introduction to the
rain water management problematic and present briefly the objectives of the

The aim is to provide all attendees the same understanding
of the challenge. This way the thinking and creative process can start over the
weekend !

Day 2: Monday 15th from 10:00 am to 01:00 pm - Call for participants

The aim is to gather a maximum people interested in attending a workshop or hackathon to build a rainwater reservoir.

a) Exchanges contacts, networking, advises on events or organisations to get intouch with.

b) 1s initial Brainstorming of the concept Rainwater reservoir
How could it look like ? materials, design, location, open source plan, usability, water re-use
concept …

c) Define a time schedule with the relevant people to organise the workshop in the coming month


Report of the main ideas developed, list of concrete meetings for next steps and further collaboration
PAD: To allow participants to document this challenge in real-time, a collaborative Etherpad document has been set up here:
FOLDER: To store and share documents, photos and other files relating to this challenge, please upload them to this challenge’s cloud folder:

Main coordinators:
@patelidur (Project Manager Veolia)

@Sylke & @Justine

Participants and partner organizations:


Additional Event: Panel discussion Monday 14:30 - 16:00: Panel discussion: Circular Economy 2.0 – Ideas of business models, drivers and hurdles of an open source circular economy


Hello !!!

It is now time to find great participants for our Challenges. For the rainwater reservoir
it would be amazing to have some people from different backgrounds such as:

  • An urban architect specialised sustainable housing & eco home

  • A smart city specialist - water reuse

  • Someone from transition town for resource recovery

  • An urban artist (any project related to recycling)

  • An urban gardening specialist

  • An eco designer specialist in low technologies

Ect… Any other suggestion? Is there anyone you could think of?

@Alice_audrey @Sylke @Lars2i @cameralibre

Of course anyone who has not this background is also welcome to join us ! All ideas and perspectives matter and will be very valuable for the challenge :smile: !


Hannes Lebert, one of the Berlin Partner team whom Alice, Lars and I met at Agora, specializes in water issues (http://www.berlin-partner.de/nc/presse/presseinformationen/detailansicht/wasser-berlin-international-1).
What do you think @Alice_audrey @Lars2i? can we contact him regarding this challenge?

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Yes, of course. good idea Sam. He can send it out to the network.

Dear Justine, I am a landscape architect and Urban designer with a focus on urban metabolisms. The material flow is one of different urban metabolisms I worked with, so its not my primary focus but I have some knowledge to contribute and would be interested in joining your challenge.

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Dear Lena,

I’m glad to hear that you will be part of the Rainwater pollution challenge.
Have you alreary applied for a ticket?

If not please apply online, i will make sure that you receive a confirmation any time soon.

If you have any questions regarding the challenge don’t hesitate to ask @patelidur.



Dear Justine, thanks for the hint. Fortunately my application and ticket was already confirmed from Lars. Looking forward to meeting you in person, lena

Dear change maker :grinning:
@Lars2i @Rafi_Dutchmann @kat @Lena_F @Maslowest @Hannes @cameralibre @patelidur

First, we’d like to thank you for taking part of the
rainwater reservoir call for participant next Monday. We are looking forward
meeting you and working together on this great topic.

It will be a great opportunity to work together on
launching the first open source rainwater reservoir development.

Here is a quick introduction of the problematic for
Monday, in case you have more questions or need more info please ask @patelidur .

Why rainwater pollution matters?

When it rains, the water runoffs wash off toxic
components, heavy metals, nitrogen, phosphorus and birds and dogs fecal matter from
buildings roofs, facades, and streets. Rainwater run offs are very often
untreated and directly discharged into the environment. Not to mention when it
rains too much sewage water is also discharged in the environment without
treatment and generates significant consequences for the environment.

The maths are quite simple:

For the case City of Berlin:

It rains 1 million m³ max/ day normal rainy day

There are 1 million apartment buildings in Berlin.

SOLUTION: implement a 1 m³ reservoir / building

This is why a rain water reservoir in urban areas can a very straight forward solution for reducing rainwater pollution.

The rainwater reservoir should also provide a storage space and a pre treatment function to enable rain water re-use. It will be decentralized as it has to be replicable for each residential building.

Why open source is a good innovation process to develop rainwater reservoir?

There are plenty of rainwater reservoirs which already exist on the market, but these are mainly for rural residential areas. Engineering offices or Water companies like Veolia have not managed yet to launch a commercial urban rainwater reservoir. It is mainly because of the high number of constraints of such a reservoir like: material used, small footprint, affordability for all residents, technical reliability …

The challenge is to develop a low tech, affordable and decentralized solution to store, treat and re-use rain water. This is why launching an open source process innovation is the best solution!

What to expect from the OSCE days session?

Veolia aims to find solutions for rain water pollution; the rainwater reservoir is a very important one. As mentioned before a decentralized storage and treatment solution for rainwater is very effective. To boost the innovation process Veolia launches a call for participant to work on the rain water reservoir for urban areas.

- Which output for participants?

  • Get to learn more about rainwater management and the environmental challenges behind

  • Exchange with Veolia water engineer about expertise, and know how

  • Get involved in a promising project to reduce rainwater pollution in cities

  • Learn and contribute to a concrete open source project with a large corporation

- Which output for Veolia?

  • Breakthrough in terms of ideas and approaches to develop the urban rainwater reservoir

  • Get to learn about the open source movement innovation process and collaborative innovation process

  • Get some insights and tips from the maker community to organize a hackathon or a workshop to develop the rainwater reservoir for urban areas.

  • Enhance and raise awareness about rainwater pollution


The introduction for Imagine Zero Rainwater Pollution will today at 19:00 at Agora.

Looking forward to see you there! :slight_smile:

1 Like

@Lars2i @Rafi_Dutchmann @kat @Lena_F @Maslowest @Hannes @cameralibre @patelidur @patelidur @Adrian_V @epica2015 @eliana

Hi all,

this is a quick reminder: Tomorrow we start at 9am @ Agora. Please bring your good mood and creativity. Looking forward to meeting you. :wink:

Thank you all for the amazing workshop we did together yesterday! :smiley:

@Lars2i @Rafi_Dutchmann @kat @Lena_F @Maslowest @Hannes @cameralibre @patelidur @patelidur @Adrian_V @epica2015 @eliana @Maslowest @Sylke @Alice_audrey

I will make sure to complete the Pad for documention, don’t hesitate to add inputs, comments and improvements.

PAD: To allow participants to document this challenge in real-time, a collaborative Etherpad document has been set up here:
To store and share documents, photos and other files relating to this
challenge, please upload them to this challenge’s cloud folder:

Last but least, we will keep you updated very shortly for the next steps of the development of the urban rainwater tank.

Looking forward to our future collaborative work !

1 Like

Dead fishs found in the river in Berlin after the last weekend heavy rains!

This is a good incentive for us to carry on with the projet. Always happy with any feedback and comments about the workshop.

Keep in touch!

Hi @Lena_F,

I just uploaded the scanned picture of the drawings here.

It is a very good work, and very usefull for the next steps. will keep in touch :smile:


Dear Justine,
thanks for uploading and sharing.
It would be nice to be informed and participate in the process of this project.
For further collaborations I send you my email: lena.flamm@b-tu.de
I am working at the technical university in cottbus, if there is at some point interest in doing f.e. a small design workshop with students we could also make a students project on the topic.
Kind regards, Lena