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Urban drainage and climate change (completed 2008)

Published: 12 December 2006

Climate change, e.g. more intense rainfall events, will affect urban drainage systems, and cause problems in cities. There is a need to understand and assess these impacts and consequences better. In many cities in Sweden, the rate of renewal of pipe systems is very low, but it is likely that renovation activities will increase. When urban water systems are replaced, climate change must be considered. The design of the future urban water system must take the climate change into account. What will be the problems and/or the possibilities? Which water system will cause most problems in a technical way or in an economical? Will it be a more energy demanding system? Will the systems be less sustainable?

Urban drainage and climate change

The overall objectives of this project is to provide information and increase the knowledge about how urban drainage will be affected by the climate change, and to develop strategies and methods to meet this new situation. The function of and interaction between factors will be studied. Additionally, the impact of each factor on the urban drainage system and ecological system will be assessed.

The aim is also to develop models that can simulate the urban drainage system with regard to surface overflow, drainage, sewer system, leakages, storm water facilities, overflows and wastewater treatment plant. Case studies will be carried out in close cooperation with end-users in order to test the models for different the defined scenarios. The results will show/indicate the status of the urban drainage system at different climate conditions at different time slices.

The results will support policy- and decision-making regarding the function of urban drainage systems in a time of climate change. More in detail the results will enable risk assessment, plans for the adaptation of the existing urban drainage system, and forecasts of potential problems and their consequences.

Project results will be published in different ways both nationally at seminars and in technical journals and internationally at conferences and in scientific journals. Furthermore, two Licentiate degrees will be produced. Work from this project is available from the list of publications for Mats Olofsson and Karolina Berggren.

This study is supported by the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Science and Spatial Planning (FORMAS).


Project participants