Thames Water are looking to Copenhagen's example to build a London flood resilience plan


It's a truth universally acknowledged that Scandinivian countries are often ahead of the curve when it comes a number of areas, including environmental initiatives.

And in a talk today entitled How resilient is London when faced with flooding? delivered by the London Assembly Fire, Resilience and Emergency Planning Committee Alex Nickson, Thames Water Wastewater Systems Strategy manager, revealed that the water company was looking to Copenhagen's example when it came to long-term flood resilience planning for London.

Nickson outlined that Thames Water had set up an Independent Review into the July storms, partly to ascertain if their assets hand been complicit, and to plan and identify long-term solutions. He went on to reveal that Lykke Leonardsen, City of Copenhagen head of program for Resilient and Sustainable City Solutions, was a review panel member, and that Thames Water were very keen to learn from her.

He explained that Leonardsen, also a member of the International Water Association, is at the helm of Copenhagen's Cloudburst Management Plan. This was introduced in 2012 after Copenhagen experienced one-in-100 year and one-in-1,000 year storms consecutively in 2010 and 2011 – the latter known as a cloudburst.

The Cloudburst Management Plan includes 300 separate projects that are expected to run over the course of the next 20 years, with work to separate surface water (rainwater) from the underground wastewater system (making the city resilient up to 100 year rains) central to this.

Nickson argued that while we can never stop flooding we can work to manage the worst impacts through "intense and persistent collaboration".

To engage in depth on drainage and sewerage issues including on the latest updates on solutions to storm overflows, book on to the forthcoming Urban Drainage Group conference between 9th - 11th November here:

Share this article

Become a member

Whether you are studying, actively looking to progress your career, or already extensively experienced, our membership will add value and recognition to your achievements. We can actively help you progress throughout your career.

Become a member

View our events

We organise a wide portfolio of UK and international thought leading events, providing an industry recognised forum for debate, CPD and sector networking. These events also support our policy work and inform key initiatives.

View our events