After adopting a resolution on water resources protection, the City Council of the Covenant Signatory Wrocław (Poland) launched the "Catch the rain" programme in August 2019. The objective of the programme was to reduce the use of tap water and have less water entering the overloaded municipal sewage system, thanks to support to citizens for effective rainwater management in their households.
Collection of rainwater relieves drainage, reduces maintenance costs, and its use can reduce the consumption of drinkable water by up to 50%."Catch the Rain" is one of a number of adaptive actions implemented by the city to contribute to the 2030 Adaptation Plan, and in particular to the priority of rainwater management. These actions develop thematic programmes that promote installation of rainwater retention systems on private properties. By involving households and private citizens in the implementation of the action, the "Catch the Rain" programme helped Wrocław to raise awareness of the impacts and opportunities of local climate adaptation, and how these actions can improve quality of life.
Beneficiaries of the programme are citizens with property located within city limits of Wrocław. They can apply for a grant to cover the costs of installation of rainwater harvesting systems at the precipitation site (including turf, rooftops, balconies), used for collecting rainwater for future use. Possible installations include rain gardens, underground and free-standing rainwater storage tanks, and absorbing wells.
The grant covers up to 80% of the investment, maximum 5,000 PLN (~€1,133). The eligible costs include all expenditure necessary to install rainwater harvesting systems e.g. purchase of materials, transport and groundwork. The 2019 pilot programme was a success, with the total amount for grants being used up already after three weeks from the launch and requests for continuation, with 143 applications submitted for a total amount of more than 600,000 PLN (€135,259).