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Rainwater plans and drought plans

Sweco supports cities, municipalities and regions in developing a future-oriented vision and policy on flooding and droughts.

Under the recently proposed Blue Deal of the Flemish government, every municipality must have an ambitious rainwater and drought plan by 2024 before it can qualify for water-related subsidies. A rainwater or drought plan may stand alone, be combined, and may also be part of a broader climate adaptation plan.

In a rainwater plan, an integrated spatial vision is developed to limit the economic, social and ecological consequences of flooding and drought, and to strengthen municipalities to absorb the consequences of climate change.  The rainwater plan can therefore be used as a guideline for a sustainable water policy in the city. If required, a detailed rainwater plan can be drawn up after preparing a basic rainwater plan. A detailed rainwater plan aims to further refine the vision developed in the basic rainwater plan for a specific zone and to substantiate the same with the help of models.

In a drought plan, the focus is on mapping the drought problem and the possible measures to address it. The drought plan deals with various aspects such as soil moisture deficits, low water levels in watercourses, lowering of the groundwater table and salinisation. Although rainwater plans also deal with the issue of the drought, drought plans focus more on water shortages rather than on flooding.

When drawing up these policy-supporting studies, Sweco always ensures compliance with the latest guidelines (e.g.  Guidelines for Rainwater Plans issued by the Committee on Integrated Water Management (CIW) and also resolutely focuses on an interdisciplinary approach, stakeholder consultation and a solid figure-based substantiation for the vision.

  • Substantiated vision: In order to develop a credible and achievable vision, it is crucial to substantiate it with the necessary information, area knowledge, maps and figures. We always map out the important environmental characteristics together with the policy and planning context. This not only enables us to identify the bottlenecks but the opportunities as well. The vision is also substantiated with figures obtained through GIS analyses or model calculations. Sweco has thoroughgoing expertise in water and heat stress modelling.
  • A shared vision: Sweco strives to develop a customer-specific vision that is supported by the various parties involved. It is for this reason that we always focus on designing customised process flows, stakeholder management, and include an adequate number of consultation and participation opportunities during the development of the vision. Our plans are always drawn up with the support of experts in process guidance, participation and stakeholder management.

Interdisciplinary approach: Interdisciplinary and cross-team working is ingrained in Sweco’s DNA. Plans are drawn up by a team of experts sourced from a wide range of disciplines, and the end result is a high-quality plan that is tailored to the client.

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