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The importance of water: Adapting to climate change

The global demand for water services is rising rapidly. The demand is driven by several factors, including the growth of the worldwide population, urbanisation, industry and a greater demand for irrigation systems. In North Western Europe, this demand is furthered by climate changes in the form of heavy rain storms and more stringent EU legislation aimed at managing flood risks and improving water quality.

At Ramboll, we have launched an initiative called Urban Water Management, because we believe we are uniquely qualified to undertake the water-related challenges faced by our customers and society at large - that we have the capacity to support a comprehensive service offering, regardless of the size and complexity of the projects.

 
 

Waste Water Treatment Plant in Umeå, Sweden

The city of Umeå in Sweden is growing rapidly. The waste water discharge increases with the growing population, and the waste water treatment plant is running out of capacity. Since 2009 Ramboll has been working to help the city re-design their waste water treatment plant, in order to increase its capacity from 115,000 to 160,000 connected individuals.

Umeå is gearing up to grow significantly by 2050, and the waste water plant project is an important part of the city’s growth plans. The project has dual purposes: it allows Umeå to grow in a sustainable way with limited environmental impact from waste water discharge. It also improves working conditions for the operations staff, creating a healthier working environment.

Waste water treatmetn plant in Umeå

Preparing Copenhagen for Climate Change

In February 2011, the Municipality of Copenhagen published its Climate Adaptation Plan. The plan is addressing climate changes such as increased rainfall, higher sea levels, and warmer weather. In preparing for these changes now by starting to incorporate measures to tackle them, Copenhagen City expects to save money and contribute to the city’s development at the same time.

Ramboll acts as a consultant on Copenhagen’s Climate Adaptation Plan. We have provided substantial input to the plan, with special regard to the hydraulic and input to economic calculation of flooding damages caused by overload of sewer systems and rivers, etc. In addition to recommending specific solutions, we have also calculated the effects of adaptation measures and the implementation costs.

Ramboll is developing a climate adaptation plan where sustainable drainage and traditional sewer constructions are combined in the optimum way

Water management in Saudi Arabia

The UN estimates that by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population could face living in countries with moderate or severe water shortage. If this prediction turns out to be true, water scarcity could prove to have more far-reaching consequences than the combined effects of economic crises and global warming. There is no doubt that we need to rethink how we supply, use and manage water, if we want to continue meeting the challenges of a growing population and climate change.

We believe that the real future opportunities are likely to be in a step change approach with new solutions and new technologies. One example of this new approach comes from a recent concept masterplanning work in Saudi Arabia where Ramboll was asked to develop water management and water supply solutions for a new renewable and sustainable city outside Riyadh. After an initial site analysis and review of the development objectives, it was assessed that “land management” rather than simply “plumbing” would be the emphasis of our approach.

Ramboll was asked to develop water management and water supply solutions for a new renewable and sustainable city outside Riyadh
 

Learn more

 
The importance of water: Adapting to climate change
Newsletter: environment & nature

Read issue one of our Environment & Nature Newsletter about 'The importance of water: Adapting to climate change'.

The Importance of Water, Issue #1, June 2011

Contact

Neel Strøbæk
Neel Strøbæk
Senior Group Director, Sustainability & CR, Planning & Urban Design
T+45 5161 8641
Enes@ramboll.com