The public interest in heat stress and the urgent search for solutions to the issue has been highlighted by the letter sent to the Dutch House of Representatives by State Secretary Sharon Dijksma.
Heat stress (also known as the Urban Heat Island effect) has many negative consequences for people, animals, agriculture, health, and the environment. As the letter says:
'Heat stress is causing a rising number of illnesses, hospital admissions, and deaths as well as a decline in productivity and an increase in sick leave. This issue involves not only the consequences of higher temperatures on the health of senior citizens and vulnerable groups, but also the increase in air pollution (due to high ozone levels and summer smog), which causes a higher rate of conditions affecting the airways. Heat can also have negative effects on agriculture and horticulture due to lower water quality (algae development) and heat stress in the pastoral sector.'
As a result, the news that Topsector Water and all stakeholders have paved the way for an in-depth investigation into the cooling capacity of Blue-Green roofs – a potential way to mitigate heat stress – comes not a moment too soon!