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Slotsholmen in Copenhagen is now well protected from the next cloudburst

In order to protect the area around Slotsholmen, a small island district in Copenhagen city centre and the seat of national government, against seawater during extraordinarily high water levels, the quay walls around Frederiksholms Kanal have been reinforced and raised over the years. However, the intention to protect the city against seawater has had the unfortunate consequence that during heavy rainfall the rainwater cannot run out into the harbour. Copenhagen experienced this during the intense cloudburst in the summer of 2011, when many buildings around Slotsholmen stood under water. Steps have now been taken to prevent this from happening again. During very powerful rainfall events and cloudbursts, the rainwater is today directed via grates along the sides of the road and via underground drains to an opening in the quay where the rainwater runs out into the harbour. At the outlet there is a non-return flap valve, which ensures that the water can only run out and not in. During very high water levels, the valve shuts and flooding is prevented.

  • Status: The flood protection efforts have already proven their worth
  • Background: Quay walls retained rainwater and caused flooding
  • The solution: Rainwater now runs directly into the harbour
  • Benefits and added value: Simple solution protects assets worth millions of DKK
  • Financing: Financing covered in the price of water
  • The process and stakeholders: Broad stakeholder backing
  • Barriers: Political backing and a smooth process
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