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Climate change is creating all kinds of challenges for our society. The increase in extreme weather has a major impact on our big cities in particular. The sewerage system in Utrecht, for example, is in danger of not being able to cope with the large peaks in rainfall. With these challenges in mind, the city is committed to improving its climate resilience and the sustainability of urban water management systems.
The new Spatial Adaptation Delta Plan obliges municipalities to conduct a climate stress test to identify vulnerable areas for flooding, water-logging, drought and heat. Utrecht has already carried out this test and is keen to implement a long-term solution to avoid problems in bottleneck areas. Arcadis is helping the city to model its sewerage and rainwater facilities. We will also monitor the system continuously over the next four to eight years and make adjustments where necessary, using the latest digital methods throughout the project.
These methods include the Data Quality Audit tool, which contains a model of the hydraulic urban water system. The tool is used to analyze how the city processes water after a heavy rain shower. The Data Quality Audit tool checks that the data is correct and up to date, ensuring that all fields are filled in and linked in the same way. The tool indicates the quality of the data using a traffic light system, so that bottlenecks can be quickly identified even by people who don't have specialist technical training.
Another digital tool validates the data for the urban water system model. An online interactive environment provides an overview of all measurement locations in the area, together with their associated model values. The actual measured values are compared to the results from the model. The validation tool shows at a glance where the measurement points are located in a municipality and where the associated basins are. We can also easily adjust the time period to view specific showers in detail.
With the renovation of its sewerage and water management system, Utrecht will soon be perfectly prepared for the extreme weather conditions associated with climate change. The Arcadis analyses will also enable the municipality to better coordinate the necessary investments. For Utrecht's residents and companies, the work means that they can count on a sound and sustainable urban water system in the future.