New Water Ways

The project NEW WATER WAYS researches and explores ways to move beyond today’s conventional urban water management (UWM), particularly stormwater management. Our work will help Norwegian cities become frontrunners in the transition to sustainable UWM – moving from drained cities to green, liveable, climate-adapted and water-sensitive cities. To accomplish our goals, we bring together a diverse group of partners from research, business and public administration to jointly work on solving urban water problems.


Stormwater. Photo: Isabel Seifert.

NEW WATER WAYS will use a holistic approach to study current Norwegian water management systems including identifying barriers and potential triggers for a transition to a water-sensitive and climate-adapted society. Following a transition management approach, we will

1) analyse the current system using workshops, interviews and document-analysis,

2) envision a future sustainable UWM together with stakeholders and draft transition pathways

3) develop approaches and implement tools to assess and evaluate the economic, social and environmental implications of single solutions, combinations of solutions (pathways) and complex management strategies on different spatial scales by using hydrologic modelling, remote sensing data analysis, social impact assessment approaches and robust economic evaluation and consolidate these approaches in a system dynamics meta-modelling tool

4) Provide “learning laboratories” to determine how best to harness citizen participation in stormwater management by establishing an urban living lab, using social responsible crowdsourcing and testing potential stormwater financing practices.

By using Oslo municipality as a core case, Copenhagen and Amsterdam as learning cases, and Trondheim and Bergen as upscaling cases, we will create a hands-on experience for the transition to a sustainable water-sensitive and climate-adapted UWM. Our results can be used by urban water managers, businesses, academia as well as the general public.

NEW WATER WAYS is funded by the Norwegian Research Council with co-funding from the project partners.