– Everything indicates that the number of cloud-bursts will increase in the future, and therefore we must design our cities to give stormwater space. Without increased resources for stormwater management, we will see more very costly events like those this summer. Stormwater management must be allowed to cost and it must be given space - otherwise it will take up unintended space, which costs more, says Maria Viklander professor of Urban Water Engineering, at Luleå University of Technology and director of the national competence centers Stormwater & Sewers and "DRIZZLE - center for stormwater management".
Blue-green stormwater solutions
Traditionally, pipe networks have been built to handle stormwater. It is becoming increasingly common to install so-called blue-green infrastructure, such as stormwater ponds, green roofs, and grass surfaces as a complement to climate adaptation in cities. However, blue-green stormwater solutions often require large areas above ground, which is a challenge in our increasingly dense cities.
Stormwater is an important resource
– We must plan our cities so that stormwater solutions are given the space needed. Properly designed, for example, a stormwater pond can become a resource by contributing to ecological diversity, recreation and increasing the attractiveness of a district, while at the same time being able to handle stormwater volumes. Stormwater management must become a more integrated part of the building of the entire community, Maria Viklander, says.
However, not all stormwater is a resource. When stormwater flows over the surfaces in our cities, it accumulates pollution, which can have a detrimental effect on the environment in both the short and long term.
–To be able to use the benefits of stormwater, we need more knowledge about different types of stormwater and which stormwater can be used as a resource, which ones need to be treated, and develop better treatment techniques. All stormwater cannot be a resource - we have to handle stormwater of different nature in different ways, Maria Viklander, says.