In the fall of 2023, the Municipality of Debrecen jointly with the Future of Debrecen movement launched a program called “Water is our common treasure”, the purpose of which is to draw the attention of the population to the importance of rainwater collection. Debrecen residents living in the southern part of the city were first provided with rainwater collection containers on a pilot basis, which the city provided free of charge in cooperation with local businesses. One of the most popular measures of the Green Code adopted at the February 2024 general meeting was the continuation and expansion of the program. The initiative was presented at a press conference by Deputy Mayor Ákos Balázs,  leader of Fidesz-KDNP parliamentary group in Debrecen Viktor Papp, and municipal representative István Kovács on the 18th of  April 2024.

Ákos Balázs said that the city’s environmental programme, the Green Codex, prepared by the members of the Green Working Group together with experts from the University of Debrecen contains 50 measures proposing sustainable and environmentally conscious solutions for all areas of life.

These include developments such as the flagship of our environmental policy, Water for the Great Forest, the continuation of the Civaqua program, the establishment of an Environmental Control System that guarantees the safety of the people of Debrecen, or the development of water utility networks, investments related to renewable energies, green buses powered by solar energy, as well as the continuation of protective afforestation and the “We are planting another 10,000 trees” program. In addition to all of this, the elements that aim to actively shape the attitude of the population are decisive, for example, the free LED exchange program for residents, the distribution of rainwater collection barrels, the panel program and the actions of the Future of Debrecen movement, which started three years ago as a community of young, innovative, modern-minded nature conservation professionals.

Ákos Balázs emphasised “last year, nearly 500 rainwater collection barrels were distributed to the people of Debrecen in the Southern part of the city, thus protecting water bases. This program was a great success, as a measure of the Green Codex, we are now providing significantly more rainwater collection barrels than last year, a total of 5,500 rainwater collection barrels, free of charge to the people of Debrecen living in residential areas with gardens. The Deputy Mayor pointed out ” this amount of barrels can simultaneously store an amount of water equivalent to the daily water consumption of 15,000 people in Debrecen in order to protect our water resources and water base. This is also important because it protects the sewer system and the water works, since it would be an extra task to drain and treat this rainwater, and on the other hand, we can keep the water in place for watering small gardens, plants, flowers, and trees near the houses”.

One closed system rainwater collection tank with a capacity of approximately 300 litres can be requested per household. The condition of the application is that the applicant has a permanent or temporary address card in Debrecen, lives in a house with a garden and undertakes to use the barrel as intended for at least three years.

Ákos Balázs also mentioned that the involvement of the people of Debrecen in another water protection programme was successful with placing used cooking oil bins in more than forty locations in the city. This was also a very popular measure, as people understood that even a drop of oil can pollute a very large amount of water, so collecting used cooking oil should prevent it from entering the water. Many people use used cooking oil collectors.

“The city is planning to launch more similar programmes in the future, step by step, we are moving towards the implementation of the Green Codex actions. The people of Debrecen were also involved in the preparation of the Codex: 60,000 clicks were cast for the Green Codex measures, of which 1,300 votes were cast for the continuation of the “Water is our common treasure” programme, making it one of the most popular measures. The continuation of the Civaqua programme, Water for the Great Forest, received the most votes, and the government has already decided on the continuation of the Civaqua programme. Debrecen is doing its utmost to protect the city’s water base and to complete the Civaqua programme together with the people of Debrecen. We are Debrecen together!” Ákos Balázs said.

Faction leader Viktor Papp emphasised “Debrecen’s city leadership and the Fidesz-KDNP faction of the assembly are active and proactive in all environmental protection programs that shape the city’s environmentally conscious approach, and they want to involve all citizens of Debrecen in the implementation of these programs. As has already been said, last year, within the framework of the program considered experimental, nearly 500 rainwater collection barrels were distributed to applicants in the areas of Epreskert, Tégláskert  and Kerekestelep. Even after that, many people from Debrecen approached the municipal representatives saying that they would like to join this program. Therefore, the program will continue this year and the city will provide 5,500 rainwater collection barrels for the citizens of Debrecen”. Viktor Papp said “the registration of applicants starts today, and those interested can find detailed information about the program called “Water is our common treasure” and the details of applying for rainwater collection barrels on the website https://futureofdebrecen.hu/esoviz. You can register from today until supplies last, but no later than the 30th of April, 2024. Those from Debrecen who join the program will receive detailed information about the place and time of collection by email after registration. If the number of applications reaches 5,500, applicants can apply to the waiting list from then on. Rainwater collectors that may not have been accepted will be distributed among those registered on the waiting list, in the order of applications”.

Viktor Papp encouraged the people of Debrecen to register and apply for rainwater collecting barrels, as it is very important to work together with the people of Debrecen for the future of the city and the protection of the environment. He emphasised that the Fidesz-KDNP group in the assembly is acting together with the people of Debrecen and for the people of Debrecen, as for them the people of Debrecen come first. The group actively supports all programmes that serve the interests of the people of Debrecen. It is important for them to build the future of the city together with the people of Debrecen. 

The municipality representative of the district explained that the municipality pays attention to the collection of rainwater not only at the level of households, but also in public areas. As he mentioned, there is a nearly 12-kilometre-long Eastern internal traffic corridor in the planning stage, next to which the rainwater drainage system will be built. Rainwater collection is also being modernised on Létai út and Lahner utca. In the Eastern part of the city, the construction of a nearly 19-kilometre-long drinking water pipeline is also underway. István Kovács also encouraged those living in houses with gardens to take advantage of the current opportunity and request rainwater collection barrels.For example, 3 millimetres of rainfall from a 100 square metre roof during a shower fills a 300-litre rainwater harvesting barrel, which can be used to irrigate plants.


Author: Debrecen4U