North Sweden Cleantech

Stormwater Research Centre Is Brimming with New Ideas

‘Drizzle’ is a centre of excellence committed to high-quality R&D in pioneering stormwater solutions that address several challenges: minimising pollution loads on receiving waters; minimising the risk of urban flooding; and taking advantage of the opportunities offered by stormwater run-off.

Traditionally, stormwater management has primarily been regarded as a problem of quantity. This has led to a focus on directing water away from urban areas as fast as possible to avoid flooding. However, today’s stormwater management also needs to consider content and pollution, and the challenges that come with climate change. Moreover, stormwater needs to be viewed as an opportunity. Drizzle, the Swedish centre for stormwater management, was formed with these guiding principles in mind.

The needs-driven research at Drizzle includes both laboratory and field studies, mainly in Luleå and Stockholm. The area of Riddarfjärden, a bay on lake Mälaren in Stockholm, is the starting point for most of the studies.

Examples of research projects

The many different projects at Drizzle include: the study of green roofs to find out which plants are most efficient at reducing stormwater run-off from roofs; research into removing microplastics from stormwater before it reaches lakes and the sea; and the evaluation of biofilters’ ability to clean road stormwater run-off.

Opportunities of multifunctional systems

One of the great challenges, but also a significant opportunity, is to integrate stormwater management into multifunctional infrastructure that takes account of the technical, economic, environmental and social aspects, from water quality to quantity and flooding issues. This is a research area with the potential to contribute to a number of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, such as Clean Water and Sanitation, Sustainable Cities and Communities, and Climate action.

Benefits from a broad range of partners

Drizzle’s research activities are conducted in collaboration with its partners throughout the entire value chain, from end users, researchers, manufacturers of stormwater management solutions, water and sewage facilities and consultancies, to operations and maintenance. The active research collaboration between Drizzle’s stakeholders offers several advantages, such as influence on research activities and access to front-line know-how that can be used to develop products and services.

The broad range of partners includes Luleå University of Technology (centre leader), Aarsleff Pipe Technologies, City of Stockholm, Luleå Municipality, NCC Infrastructure, Stockholm’s municipal water and waste company, and many more. New partners may join the consortium as long as they meet the requirements.


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