Urban Heat Islands - our Solution

Urban Heat Islands can be reduced with WaterUps Urban Greenery Solutions

Global temperatures hitting record highs in the past few weeks — exacerbating urban heat islands — has strengthened calls to better manage green house gases and increase tree planting and urban greenery initiatives.

Greening our cities has to be one of our major priorities because:

  • Cities are responsible for 70% of greenhouse gases
  • By 2050 at least 70% of the global population will be urbanised

The urban heat island effect can increase temperatures by more than 13 degrees.

This is caused by large amounts of concrete and paved dark-coloured surfaces like roads, roofs and car parks which have often been at the expense of tree destruction and covering the earth.

It is widely recognised that tree planting is the most effective nature-based solution for cooling our cities – which is why this is a key focus for WaterUps.

Trees provide shade, reduce the amount of heat that is absorbed and released by nearby paved surfaces, reduce air temperature, glare and UV radiation. They photosythesise carbon dixodie into oxygen. All in all they are miracle workers.

To do this they need healthy tree canopies. Stressed trees will drop their leaves and branches too. In order for trees to have healthy canopies they need healthy and large root structures – it’s that simple. What’s above is a mirror image of what’s below.

To have sustainable, liveable cities we have to plant trees NOW and ensure these trees grow, thrive and survive.

All this while the earth is approaching the sort of heat not seen since 1-3m years ago, a period of time called the Pliocene.

Having our soil and environment facing unprecedented evaporation makes it doubly difficult for young trees to survive.

Which means the old ways of planting trees just won’t cut it anymore.

We need smarter, newer solutions to ensure our trees survive and flourish.

This is what the WaterUps Tree Reservoir was designed for.

The WaterUps Tree Reservoir was developed in response to the high maintenance costs and high-water usage required to establish street trees for canopy cover in built up areas.

Buried up to 700mm below the surface, the Tree Reservoir encourages roots to travel down deep into the soil profile, ensuring long-term resilience and greatly improved chances of survival.

The system eliminates evaporation as the wicking zone is well below the soil surface and, with the ability to add fertiliser directly to the reservoir, it stops the runoff that leads to nutrification of local waterways. The system will capture and reuse rainfall as it filters through the soil picking up soluble nutrients with it.

It is the best way to get young trees to survive and thrive and to reduce urban heat islands as naturally as possible.

The benefits it provides are extensive:

  • 50%increase in root growth in the first 3 months alone!
  • 30%increase in canopy growth year on year for the first 3 years Trees 2 x larger than trees not planted in our tree reservoir
  • Save 90%on plant stock. Younger, smaller stock can be used because they establish faster and better
  • 75%reduction in watering schedule for the first 18 months – save labour
  • Up to 80%less water usage than current above ground methods – save water
  • 100%Recycled Plastic and 100%Australian owned and made
  • Suitable for all tree species, works in poor / dry soil environments

You can read more about how this solution can benefit tree planting programs for councils and developers here. You can also find out more about it and our other solutions for Urban Greenery by downloading the brochure below: