Water and Waste Water Fair: “Disciplines have to meet"

“Flash floods are a serious issue for many big cities. If there is heavy rain in a city, how can we possibly prevent water damaging important infrastructure or running directly into nature, contaminating rivers and lakes?” Måns Lindell works for the county of Jönköping, Sweden. He monitors the quality of water bodies like the lake Vättern, the fifth largest lake in Europe. At the “Water and Waste Water Fair” in the city of Jönköping, he is looking for new ways to protect critical infrastructure within and around cities from the consequences of climate change.

New ways to think climate change adaption

“There are many people working on decreasing the effects of climate change. I was very impressed by new ways to circulate water in pipes underground so it won’t flood the streets. There were also ways to construct roads and pavements in combination with underground volumes to store water, so it won’t flush directly into a sewage plant.” Lindell was attending the conference together with Anna Akesson from WSP. WSP is one of the biggest international businesses providing management and consultancy services to the built and natural environment.

 Måns Lindell (Jönköping) and Anna Akesson (WSP) presenting CLARITY.

Måns Lindell (Jönköping) and Anna Akesson (WSP) presenting CLARITY.

Being a biologist, Lindell normally doesn’t attend specific conferences like the “Water and Waste Water Fair” in Jönköping. However, his idea is to understand the different aspects of how climate change is affecting cities and promote a new holistic strategy to climate change adaption. “Many people here think in their own pipes, so to say, but it is essential to tackle climate change adaption in a broad sense.”

CLARITY: A new multilayer risk map

Lindell and Akesson both presented CLARITY (funded by Horizon 2020), a project, which analyzes the dangers of climate change collectively, at the fair. “What CLARITY is doing, is to show consequences of heavy rainfall in combination with heat or other factors. We are creating a multi-layer tool, which shows the level of danger for different zones within the European Union.”

Within a new CLARITY marketplace project planners, municipalities, scientists and industry will exchange projects and information. A risk map of the territory of the European Union will show project planners climate change risks for different areas with a traffic light system. There are already four showcase projects running in Sweden, Austria, Spain and Italy. After the Water and Waste Water Fair in Jönköping Lindell is impressed but also reassured: ”There is a need for CLARITY, yes.”

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The Water and Wastewater Fair (25th – 27th of September) is the industry’s most important meeting-place since many years. The municipal water and wastewater sector, industry, IT, regulation technology, maintenance and research come together to consult current issues. Up to 7,000 visitors meet about 380 exhibitors. The fair was held first 1997, and presents itself every second year.