About iWater - Integrated Storm Water Management project

iWater – Integrated Storm Water Management

Climate change has led to more frequent and intense storm and rainfall events along with increased flooding, storm water runoff, and soil erosion. These are forcing planners and storm water specialists to develop strategies dealing with greater volume and velocity of storm water. At the same time, urban areas are densifying and land is more covered with sealed surfaces.

As the Baltic Sea region is estimated to face more frequent and heavier rainfalls, the current planning and management practices have proven to be weak in meeting these challenges. Thus, the project idea is to create higher quality, cleaner and safer urban environment and increase urban sustainability.

iWater - Integrated Storm Water Management project aims to improve the urban planning in the cities of the Baltic Sea Region via developing integrated storm water management system. During the years 2015–2018, common guidelines and tools of integrated storm water management will be developed in the partnering cities with the involvement of local stakeholder and interest groups.

In practice, the project partner cities adopt new programmes and approximately 35 other cities are trained to use developed methods in the region.

iWater partners are:

City of Riga (Riga City Council), City Development Department (Latvia)
Jelgava City Council, Development and City Planning Department (Latvia)
Municipality of Söderhamn, Municipal Committee Department (Sweden)
Municipality of Gävle, Management administration (Sweden)
Tartu City Government, Department of Urban Planning, Land Survey and Use (Estonia)
City of Helsinki, City of Helsinki Environment Centre (Finland)
City of Turku, Environmental Division (Finland)
Aalto University, Department of Architecture (Finland)
Union of the Baltic Cities Sustainable Cities Commission

Project activities

To reach its goals, the project develops guidelines and tools for Integrated Storm Water Management and introduces the practices into urban planning process.
This is done, for example, through the science-practice collaboration, aiming to find and elaborate common management methods. The project establishes local support groups within all partner cities enabling municipalities to develop their solutions in close collaboration with local stakeholders and various community interest groups.

  • Within the project a student competition Water Spaces was organised to find and develop new, innovative, applicable to Baltic Sea Region conditions storm water management solutions for 7 partner cities, which later will function as basis for investment plans to be realized after the project life-time. Please see the 7 pilot sites from here.
  • Partner cities create/update their urban and storm water planning processes and storm water programs/plans which will set targets and actions for Storm Water management for the upcoming years
  • Project consortium develops Guidelines for Integrated Storm Water Management, which illustrate an ideal Integrated Storm Water Management system taking urban planning processes permanently to the new level
  • Project consortium also develops the evaluation criteria for a peer review to be further disseminated and used in practice in cities within the Baltic Sea Region and the European Union
  • During the project’s time-life more cities are trained to use the Integrated Storm Water Management system and the Green Area Factor tool
  • iWater summer schools will be organized with the aim to produce innovative storm water management solutions for the iWater pilot sites.The 5-day intensive studio courses will take place in Latvia (14–18 June), Sweden (27 June–1 July 2016), and Estonia (11–15 July 2016). Read more http://www.ubc-sustainable.net/iwatersummerschool.

Funding programs

Central Baltic Programme 2014-2020
2 350 000€