Blog post

International consortium aims to improve municipal surface water management

Nov 10, 2021

by Helena Åström (

Municipalities are at the frontline of ensuring robust surface water management and fulfilling this role is increasingly important as rain events become more intense and more frequent.

A newly formed Innovation Partnership led by Bærum Municipality in Norway is working to build new digital tools and organizational processes so that municipalities can effectively plan for surface water. Managing extreme events with traditional stormwater infrastructure is known to be expensive and difficult, and the partnership aims at developing tools that make it easier to plan terrain-based solutions.

“It is not feasible to manage surface water flooding with traditional dimensioning practices, we need smarter decisions to prepare for extreme precipitation”, says Arthur Wøhni, Municipal Director for Bærum Municipality.

Figure 1. The project is led by Bærum Municipality. Partners are Envidan, Menon, SLA Landscape architects, Aarhus Water Utility and SCALGO.

The partnership includes experts in different areas of climate adaptation from Norway and Denmark, and its ambition is to create a next-generation digital planning tool that improves collaboration, planning and early decision-making across municipal departments.

“Surface water flooding is something that affects all parts of municipal planning and several departments. It makes sense to work with these issues together,” says Hampus Åkerblom, Market Manager at SCALGO. “The earlier surface water is included into the decision-making the better chance we have to find the good solutions.”

And to make good arguments for climate adaptation in the early planning process, there is a need to evaluate plans from several aspects, both technical, social, as well as economic. To help evaluate surface water investments, the digital tool will, for example, make it easier to assess costs and benefits of different decisions. This will ensure that money is used where it is most needed.

The new tool will be based on SCALGO Live technology, though the final form is under development.

“We believe that better and easier access to data and analyses plays a major role in improving a municipality’s ability to collaborate. Our approach is, as always, to keep it simple. With this we make sure that the tool, and the information it provides, is accessible to all planners in all parts of the municipality”, says Morten Revsbæk, CEO at SCALGO.

SCALGO Live is today used by more than 100 municipalities to guide their early decision-making in city planning and surface water management. In this partnership the goal is to make it even easier to create municipal-wide surface water plans and to realize these plans through municipal processes such as local planning, issuing building permits and maintaining roads.

Want to know more about how municipalities use SCALGO Live? Contact Hampus Åkerblom (