Nov 25, 2023 Norway

New possibilities for managing cloudbursts developed in a Norwegian innovation partnership

  • Municipal planning

In the innovation partnership, InnoVann, SCALGO has over the past years developed new tools and features to help municipalities better prepare for extreme rainfall and find cost-effective solutions. Read about the project for an insight into new possibilities in SCALGO Live.

An increasing number of heavy rainfall events create far-reaching consequences and cost millions year after year. Bærum municipality in Norway was hit by such an event in 2016, and then again in 2017, 2019 and 2020, all causing extensive damage. They decided to take action and received governmental funding to establish an innovation partnership, called InnoVann. The goal was to develop new tools and work processes for managing heavy rainfall in urban areas.

“The municipality must take responsibility for comprehensive stormwater management, but we lacked the tools and work processes to make it happen.”

Therese Holm Thorvaldsen, Project manager, Bærum Municipality

The partnership consisted of the Norwegian municipalities Bærum and Lørenskog, together with Envidan, SCALGO, Menon economics, Aarhus Vand, and SLA.

“Wiser after the damage caused by the heavy rain in 2016, we were aware that the municipality needed to be better equipped to face future climate challenges”, explains Therese Holm Thorvaldsen, Project manager in the InnoVann project in Bærum. “The municipality must take responsibility for comprehensive stormwater management, but we lacked the tools and work processes to make it happen.”

The tool: Dynamic Cloudburst Plan

The solution developed in InnoVann, consists of tools and methodologies to create Dynamic Cloudburst Plans. The purpose is to map areas where water accumulates and moves during heavy rainfall and analyze risks and costs associated with surface water flooding. 

By closely following municipal development through various plans and projects, such as maintenance and other surface projects, one can compile a cloudburst plan that communicates risks and opportunities to various municipal departments and collaborators.

The dynamic cloudburst plan defines problem areas as red, attention areas as yellow and opportunities as green.

“The goal of the cloudburst plan is to identify risks, but also highlight opportunities to gradually improve stormwater management, both in the short and long term”, says Torbjørn Friborg, Chief Adviser in Envidan. “By having a long-term plan, stormwater projects can be carried out in combination with other projects. This reduces both costs and climate footprint compared to exclusively implementing them as a climate adaptation project. The result is more cost-efficient climate adaptation.”

New features and tools in SCALGO Live

In the InnoVann project, SCALGO developed several new features and tools to make information easily accessible, improve collaboration within the municipality and contribute to more efficient use of resources. 

“What differentiates the concept of the Dynamic Cloudburst Plan from similar methods is that it is always up to date.”

Thomas Riis, Head of Market for Norway, SCALGO

The main outputs include:

  • Easy-to-use integration with TUFLOW hydrodynamic analyses directly in SCALGO Live. With what we call one click-modelling, dynamic modelling becomes accessible to municipal planners.
  • Area query tool to easily analyze damage associated with surface water flooding.
  • New drawing tools, called Canvas, used for compiling the dynamic cloudburst plan that can be directly integrated with the municipality’s map system.
  • A Cost-benefit analysis to ensure that planned measures are socio-economically viable.

“What differentiates the concept of the Dynamic Cloudburst Plan with similar methods is that it is always up to date”, explains Thomas Riis, Head of Market for Norway in SCALGO. “Every time development projects are finished, or some measures are implemented, the municipality can easily run a hydrodynamic analysis on new terrain data and update the cloudburst plan with respect to the current situation. The changes are directly visible in their own map system. This ensures that the different departments always work with the latest plan.”

There are already three large municipalities in Norway that have acquired the “InnoVann” package and started their work towards a more cost-effective and climate resilient future. Soon the features will be available for purchase for all SCALGO Live customers.

Thomas Riis,
Head of Market, Norway