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The economics of managing heavy rains and stormwater in Copenhagen – the Cloudburst Management Plan

Renovation of Sankt Ann Plads. Credit: Birgit Georgi (EEA).

This case study was originally published on the Climate-ADAPT website – for more information please visit the case study pageClimate-ADAPT aims to support Europe in adapting to climate change by helping users to access and share data and information. The platform includes the Climate-ADAPT database that contains quality checked information that can be easily searched.


To combat the impacts of cloudbursts, the City of Copenhagen developed a Cloudburst Management Plan in 2012, which is an offshoot of the Copenhagen Climate Adaptation Plan. The Plan outlines the priorities and measures recommended for climate adaptation including extreme rainfall. 

The City carried out an overall assessment of the costs of different measures, the cost of the damages despite the measures and resulting financial impact. It showed that continuing to focus on traditional sewage systems would result in a negative societal gain: despite capital investments, financial damages from flooding would remain high and not justify the high investment in measure implementation.

On the other hand, the combined solution (including adaptation) would result in a net saving. The chosen combined solution will consist of expanding the sewer network and around 300 surface projects focusing on water retention and drainage.

You can read the full case study on the Climate-ADAPT website.

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