Bergen is the second largest city in Norway, located on the West cost of the country. Its pronounced topography and exposed location make it one of Europe’s rainiest cities. The city has a robust water supply comprised of several coupled surface water reservoirs, but the transport systems for water and sewage are old. This entails leakages in the water distribution network and pollution from combined sewer overflows to receiving fjords. In the BINGO project, these challenges have been addressed in the context of climate change.
Figure: Map of the Bergen research site showing main drinking water reservoirs (Jordalsvannet, Svartediket, Sædalen, Espeland) and area with combined sewer system (Damsgård).
Which sectors did it involve?
The municipality in Bergen is the end-user of the BINGO project and was involved as a project partner. Different agencies of the municipality were involved in the Community of Practice (CoP) stakeholder group. These included the Agency for Water and sewerage works, Planning and building services, Housing and redevelopment, the Department of urban development, and the Department of climate, culture and business development. Other stakeholders involved were research communities and residents.
What was done?
The work at the Bergen research site have been two-fold, focusing on 1) Future drinking water availability, and 2) Reducing CSO from combined sewer systems.
For the first objective, a model chain comprising statistical downscaling of GCM output, hydrological modelling of inflow to drinking water reservoirs and a reservoir storage balance have been set up and run with long-term scenarios for future climate, population growth and water demand.
For the second objective, the Stormwater Management Model (SWMM) have been set up for the combined sewer system in the Damsgård area of Bergen – an area currently transforming from a heavily industrialized site to urban housing and recreational spaces. The SWMM model was run with 10x10 years of decadal climate prediction prepared in the BINGO project, which allowed for a detailed risk identification, assessment and proposals for treatment options based on risk level and cost-effectiveness of adaptation measures.
Which were the main results?
The main results of the BINGO project for Bergen are:
- dynamically and statistically downscaled climate projections for the short term (decadal) and long term (centenary), respectively,
- Hydrological and hydraulic models,
- Detailed risk identification and assessments,
- Suggestions for adaptation strategies and measures, and
- A Community of Practice for further interdisciplinary collaboration.
What is BINGO’s legacy in Bergen?
In Bergen, much effort has been put into understanding climate data and how they can be of practical value to end-users in planning and design. This work has been an exercise of transferring climate research to practical knowledge which have resulted in a better comprehension of the type and format of climate data needed for different hydrological processes and for different tasks such as investigations, system planning or component design.
The CoP framework has facilitated interdisciplinary teamwork and helped increase the level of collaboration across municipal agencies and departments. The CoP stakeholders now have a common understanding of challenges which make them more likely to succeed with holistic planning. This co-creation process has also highlighted the value of public involvement and the municipality have started several initiatives to better communicate with their citizens. By the end of BINGO, the municipality continues collaboration with schools and students and keeps developing their digital platform for public involvement.