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Climate change adaptation

Urban water management

Water management


Improved liveability with climate adaptation

5. September 2022

Solution provider


3VAND is your utility partner when discovering Danish water solutions. We are owners, users, frontrunners, and initiators in the development of state-of-the-art solutions within wastewater treatment and drinking water production - and we steward the entire water cycle.

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Working with climate adaptation must not only focus on minimizing the risks in future climate change – but also take advantage of the possibilities to improve quality of life for the citizens. In 3VAND we look at flexible solutions where water management works along with urban planning and design and development of recreational areas in the city.


Cities in Denmark are by law obliged to develop a climate adaptation plan including a plan for handling daily rain outside the combined sewer and extreme rain. There are other reasons that climate adaptation has been in focus, for the last decade: The surface-based solutions are often more cost effective than the traditional pipe solutions and gives us the possibility to create more sustainable urban drainage systems and contribute to green urban development.

Thus, the conditions for the utility companies have changed from working solely with underground invisible pipe solutions to creating visible long lasting surface solutions of great importance to the development of many cities.

The larger cities in Denmark are typically subdivided into hydrologically catchment areas. For each area a climate adaptation management plan is developed, and the alternative surface solutions considered are integrated into municipal urban development plans. This is to ensure local support, maximise implementation efficiency and optimize investments. Pavements on squares are removed to make room for green meeting places with benches, lights, trees, bushes, etc.

In less densely populated parts of the city, our utilities can motivate private houseowner to disconnect rainwater from their property – thereby preventing it from entering the sewers and contributing to climate adaptation.

To protect the recipient against overflow from the combined sewer system, solutions such as cloudburst tunnels function as retention basins. In this way, bathing water in the harbours is protected despite the increase in rain intensity that is the consequence of climate change.


Green areas in the city can have multiple functions: e.g., disconnection of rainwater from the combined sewer, local biodiversity, and absorption of both rain and heat. But it also offers the possibility to increase liveability – providing green meeting places, not too far from homes, that stimulate exercise.

The high quality of marine water in Danish harbours makes it safe for bathing and recreational activities. The former polluted industrial area has become a main attraction and is now the blue front of many cities. It is very popular areas – both for tourist and residents – where real estate prices increase, and fauna and biodiversity have returned.

Advanced hydraulic modelling and engineering by the utilities together with careful planning and determined construction work over many years by the municipalities has proven to create new dimensions to liveability in city centres.

So, climate adaptation and the development of attractive and green major cities – are two sides of the same coin.


Wath VR-movie on climate adaptation: