Climatic Change

, Volume 64, Issue 1–2, pp 103–126 | Cite as

Urban Water Management vs. Climate Change: Impacts on Cold Region Waste Water Inflows

  • Annette Semadeni-Davies


Failure to account for non-climatic changes to water systems, such as design and operation, within climate change impact assessments leads to misconceptions because these activities buffer the human built enviroment from bio-physical impacts. Urban drainage in cold regions, which is dominated by snowmelt, is especially vulnerable to climate change and is investigated in this paper within the context of future rehabilitation of the sewer network. The objectives are to illustrate the relative response of urban drainage to changes in both the pipe network and climate and demonstrate the use of response surfaces for climate change studies. An incremental climate scenario approach is used to generate two sensitivity analyses for waste water inflows to the Lycksele waste water treatment plant in north-central Sweden. Air temperature and precipitation data (1984–1993) are altered incrementally between –5 and +15 °C and –10 and +40% respectively. These data are then used to drive a hydrological transformation model to obtain estimates of sewer infiltration from groundwater. The results are presented as winter and spring response surfaces – these are graphical representations of a response matrix where each point relates to a single model run. Climate scenario envelopes which summarise a series of GCM runs (ACACIA; Carter, 2002, pers. comm.) are overlaid to indicate the range of plausible waste water inflows. Estimates of natural multi-decadal variability are also included. The first sensitivity analysis assumes no change to the drainage system while the second simulates sewer renovation in which the system is fully separated and sewer infiltration is reduced. The main conclusions are that innovations in drainage network technology have a greater potential to alter waste water inflows than climate change and that, while the direction of climate change is fairly certain, there is great uncertainty surrounding magnitude of those changes and their impacts.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arnell, N. W.: 1999, 'The Effect of Climate Change on Hydrological Regimes in Europe: A Continental Perspective', Global Environ. Change 9, 5–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bengtsson, L.: 1984, 'Modelling Snowmelt Induced Runoff with Short Time Resolution', Proc. 3rd Int. Conf. Urban Storm Drainage, Gothenburg, Sweden, pp. 305–314.Google Scholar
  3. Bengtsson, L. and Westerström, G.: 1992, 'Urban Snowmelt and Runoff in Northern Sweden', Hydrolog. Sci. J. 37, 263–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bergström, S., Carlsson, B., Gardelin, M., Lindström, G., Pettersson, A., and Rummukainen, M.: 2001, 'Climate Change Impacts on Runoff in Sweden-Assessments by Global Climate Models, Dynamical Downscaling and Hydrological Modelling', Clim. Res. 16, 101–112.Google Scholar
  5. Berkhout, F., Hertin, J., and Jordan, A.: 2002, 'Socio-Economic Futures in a Climate Change Impact Assessment: Using Scenarios as “Learning Machines”', Global Environ. Change, Part A. 12, 83–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Boland, J.: 1997, 'Assessing Urban Water Use and the Role of Water Conservation Measures under Climate Uncertainty', Clim. Change 37, 157–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Buttle, J. M. and Xu, F.: 1988, 'Snowmelt Runoff in Suburban Environments', Nord. Hydrol. 18, 19–40.Google Scholar
  8. Carter, T. R.: 2002, Personal Communication, Background Material for ACACIA (Hulme and Carter, 2000).Google Scholar
  9. de Freitas, C. and Fowler A.: 1989, 'Identifying Sensitivity to Climate Change at the Regional Scale: The New Zealand Example', in Welch, R. (ed.), Proc. 15th New Zealand Geography Conference, NZ Geographical Society Conference Series, pp. 254–261.Google Scholar
  10. Fowler, A.: 1999, 'Potential Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources in the Auckland Region (New Zealand)', Clim. Res. 11, 221–245.Google Scholar
  11. Graham, L. P., Rummukainen, M., Gardelin, M., and Bergström, S.: 2001, 'Modelling Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources in the Swedish Regional Climate Modelling Programme', in Brunet, M. and López, D. (eds.), Detecting and Modelling Regional Climate Change, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 567–580.Google Scholar
  12. Graham, P: 2002, Personal Communication Regarding SweClim at the Rossby Centre.Google Scholar
  13. Gustafsson, L.-G., Lindberg, S., and Olsson, R.: 1991, 'Modelling of the Indirect Runoff Component in Urban Areas', in Č. Maksinovi? (ed.), Int. Conf. Urban Drainage and New Technologies, Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, Elsevier Applied Science, pp., 127–133.Google Scholar
  14. Hernebring, C.: 1996, Snösmältningspåverkan på avloppssystem inom urbana områden (Snowmelt Induced Runoff in Sewer Systems, Swedish), VAV, VA-Forsk Publ. 1996–07.Google Scholar
  15. Hostetler, S.: 1994, 'Hydrologic and Atmospheric Models: The (Continuing) Problem of Discordant Scales (An Editorial Comment)', Clim. Change 27, 345–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hulme, M., Barrow, E. M., Arnell, N. W., Harrison, P. A., Johns, T. C., and Downing, T. E.: 1999, 'Relative Impacts of Human-Induced Climate Change and Natural Climate Variability', Nature 397, 688–691.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hulme, M. and Carter, T. R.: 2000, 'The Changing Climate of Europe', in Parry, M. (ed.), Assessment of Potential Effects and Adaptations for Climate Change in Europe: The Europe ACACIA Project, Jackson Environment Institute, University of East Anglia, Norwich, U.K., pp. 47–84.Google Scholar
  18. IPCC: 1996, Climate Change 1995: The Science of Climate Change, Contribution of Working Group I to the IPCC Second Assessment Report.Google Scholar
  19. IPCC: 2001a, Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis, Contribution of Working Group I to the IPCC Third Assessment Report.Google Scholar
  20. IPCC: 2001b, Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, Contribution of Working Group II to the IPCC Third Assessment Report.Google Scholar
  21. Jóhannesson, T., Jónsson, T., Källén, E., and Kaas, E.: 1995, 'Climate Change Scenarios for the Nordic Countries', Clim. Res. 5, 181–195.Google Scholar
  22. Jones, R. N.: 2000, 'Managing Uncertainty in Climate Change Projections-Issues for Impact Assessment', Clim. Change 45, 403–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lettenmaier, D. P., Wood, A. W., Palmer, R. N., Wood, E. F., and Stakhiv, E. Z.: 1999, 'Water Resources Implications of Global Warming: A U.S. Regional Perspective', Clim. Change 43, 537–579.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Liverman, D. M. and Merideth, R.: 2002, 'Climate and Society in the U.S. Southwest: The Context for a Regional Assessment', Clim. Res. 21, 199–218.Google Scholar
  25. Loaiciga, H. A., Valdes, J. B., Vogel, R., Garvey, J., and Schwarz, H.: 1996, 'Global Warming and the Hydrological Cycle', J. Hydrol. 174, 83–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lynch, A. H., Mellwaine, S., Beringer, J., and Bonan, G. B.: 2001, 'An Investigation of the Sensitivity of a Land Surface Model to Climate Change Using a Reduced Form Model', Clim. Dyn. 17, 643–652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Marsalek, J.: 1991, 'Urban Drainage in Cold Climates: Problems, Solutions and Research Needs', in Maksimovíc, ?. (ed.), Int. Conf. Urban Drainage and New Technologies (UDT91), Elsevier Applied Science, Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, pp. 299–308.Google Scholar
  28. Matheussen, B. V. and Thorolfsson, S. T.: 1999, 'A Simulation Errors Due to Insufficient Temporal Resolution in Urban Snowmelt Models', 8th Int. Conference on Urban Storm Drainage, Sydney, Australia.Google Scholar
  29. Matsui, S., Henze, M., Ho, G., and Otterpohl, R.: 2001, 'Emerging Paradigms in Water Supply and Sanitation', in Maksimovi?, ?. and Tejada-Guibert, J. (eds.), Frontiers in Urban Water Management, IWA Publishing, London.Google Scholar
  30. Mein, R. G. and Apostolidis, N.: 1992, 'A Simple Hydrologic Model for Sewer Inflow/Infiltration', Proc. of the International Symposium on Urban Stormwater Management, Sydney, pp. 204–208.Google Scholar
  31. Milina, J.: 2000, 'Runoff Processes in Urban Areas under Cold Climate Conditions-Methods and Models for Drainage Design', in Sægrov, S., Milina, J. and Thorolfsson, S. T. (eds.), Urban Drainage in Cold Climates. Urban Drainage in Specific Climates, Vol II, ?. Maksimovi? (Chief ed.) UNESCO IHP-V / Technical Documents in Hydrology / No. 40, Vol. II, pp. 71–88Google Scholar
  32. Parry, M.: 2001, 'Climate Change: Where Should our Research Priorities Be?', Global Environ. Change 11, 257–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Parry, M. L. (ed.): 2000, Assessment of Potential Effects and Adaptations for Climate Change in Europe: The Europe ACACIA Project, Jackson Environment Institute, University of East Anglia, Norwich, U.K.Google Scholar
  34. Pittock, A. B.: 1993, 'Climate Scenario Development', in Jakeman, A. J., Beck, M. B., and McAleer, M. J. (eds.), Modelling Change in Environmental Systems, John Wiley &; Sons, Chichester, pp. 481–503.Google Scholar
  35. Rowney, A. C., Stahre, P., and Roesner, L. A. (eds.): 1997, Procedures: Sustaining Urban Water Resources in the 21st Century, Malmö, Sweden, ASCE, VA, U.S.A.Google Scholar
  36. Rummukainen, M., Räisänen, J., Bringfelt, B., Ullerstig, A., Omstedt., A., Willén, U., Hansson, U., and Jones, C.: 2001, 'A Regional Climate Model for Northern Europe-Model Description and Results from the Downscaling of two GCM Control Simulations', Clim. Dyn. 17, 339–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Schreider, S. Y., Smith, D. I., and Jakeman, J.: 2000, 'Climate Change Impacts on Urban Flooding', Clim. Change, 47, 91–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Seligman, G.: 1980, Snow Structure and Ski Fields, International Glaciological Society, Cambridge, U.K.Google Scholar
  39. Semadeni-Davies, A. F.: 1998, 'Modelling Snowmelt Induced Waste Water Inflows', Nord. Hydrol. 29, 285–302.Google Scholar
  40. Semadeni-Davies, A. F.: 1999, 'Snow-Cover Heterogeneity in Luleå, Sweden', Urban Water 1, 39–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Semadeni-Davies, A. F.: 2000, 'Representation of Snow in Urban Runoff Models', J. Hydrol. Eng. 5, 363–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Semadeni-Davies, A. F. and Bengtsson, L.: 1999, 'TheWater Balance of a Sub-Arctic Town', Hydrol. Process. 13, 1871–1885.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Semadeni-Davies, A. F. and Bengtsson, L.: 2000, 'Snow and Snowmelt', in Sægrov, S., Milina, J., and Thorolfsson, S. T. (eds.), Urban Drainage in Cold Climates. Urban Drainage in Specific Climates, Vol II, ?. Maksimovi? (chief ed.) UNESCO IHP-V / Technical Documents in Hydrology / No. 40, Vol. II, pp. 41–70.Google Scholar
  44. Semadeni-Davies, A. F., Lundberg, A., and Bengtsson, L.: 2001, 'Radiation Balance for Snow in the Urban Environment: A Water Management Perspective', Cold Reg. Sci. Tech. 33, 59–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. UKCIP: 2001, Socio-Economic Scenarios for Climate Change Impact Assessment: A Guide to their Use in the U.K. Climate Impacts Programme, UKCIP, Oxford.Google Scholar
  46. UNESCO: 2000, Urban Drainage in Cold Climates. Urban Drainage in Specific Climates, Vol. II, Sægrov, S., Milina, J., and Thorolfsson, S. T. (eds), ?. Maksimovi? (chief ed.) UNESCO IHP-V / Technical Documents in Hydrology / No. 40, Vol. II.Google Scholar
  47. Urbonas, B. and Stahre, P.: 1993, Storm Water Best Management Practices and Detention for Water Quality, Drainage and CSO Management, PTR Prentice Hall, New Jersey.Google Scholar
  48. van Minnen, J. G., Alcamo, J., and Haupt, W.: 2000, 'Deriving and Applying Response Surface Diagrams for Evaluating Climate Change Impacts on Crop Production', Clim. Change 46, 317–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Westerström, G.: 1984, 'Snowmelt Runoff from Porsön Residential area. Luleå, Sweden', 3rd Int. Conf. Urban Storm Drainage, Gothenburg, Sweden, pp. 315–323.Google Scholar
  50. Xu, F. and Buttle, J. M.: 1987, 'Patterns of Net Radiation over Urban Snowpacks', Proc. Eastern Snow Conf. 43, 173–184.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annette Semadeni-Davies
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Water Resources EngineeringLund UniversityLundSweden

Personalised recommendations