Climate adaptation of drainage networks - Sweden Water Research

Climate adaptation of drainage networks

This is the PhD research project of Sara Roth. Sara is an industrial PhD student working for Sweden Water Research, NSVA and Lund University.

PHD PROJECT The urban society is facing large challenges with changing precipitation patterns and sea level rise resulting from climate change. Additionally, research indicates that future weather events will become more extreme, possibly causing an already rising sea level to increase even more during storm surges. Some effects on the city drainage network are already visible today, with rain volumes surpassing the dimensioned capacity and sea water intrusion through outlets decreasing capacity even further. This highlights a need for the authorities to accelerate climate adaptation of drainage networks. However, the deterministic way of planning used today adapts poorly to a changing society. Instead, we need to move towards a new design practise, including multifunctional solutions that are financially justifiable. The large uncertainties connected to climate change makes it even more unpredictable, which further states the need for incorporating a holistic view of the system. In addition, there is a need for a long-term perspective to be able to successively install the measures while optimising the costs and benefits.

There are multiple studies performed of the effect of rainfall, river flow and sea level as individual parameters on urban areas. The studied scenarios are commonly extreme events, and the probability for these types of events to co-occur are low, resulting in insufficient basis for city planning. Therefore, this project aims to investigate effect patterns of combined events in a future scenario of different time horizons to make a better simulation of the future, and further assist the authorities in the climate adaptation of drainage networks.

This PhD project is part of the larger program Mistra InfraMaint

Supervisors: Karin Jönsson, Salar Haghighatafshar, Lund University

Co-supervisor: Sofia Dahl, NSVA

The aim is to develop and demonstrate a methodology for adapting the drainage network to climate change, taking different time horizons into account.