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How Drainage Systems are Affected by Climate Change in European Countries

Uncertain nature of the European weather, extreme downpour and frequency of rain in rural and urban drainage systems will get more frequent in the future due to climate change. So for this we need to update or enhance the design of the European drainage system.

One of the critical factors of flooding in an area is the abnormal amounts and frequency of rain. The abnormal weather can be induced by the sudden change in temperature, which can be caused by climate change. This is an example of how climate change can affect a drainage system.

To get an in-depth discussion on how climate change affects a drainage system, let's look at a research done from the Technical University of Denmark, titled, "The effect of climate change on urban drainage: an evaluation based on regional climate model simulations."

Don't get stressed about the term "research." We'll make this quick and bite-sized.

Discussion of the study

The study results concluded that in this decade, extreme weather events could happen at least twice as often compared to past decades. This phenomenon can be due to climate change or not, but the point is, extreme weather events are happening more often than not.

The study was mainly conducted in Copenhagen, Denmark, and some countries in the European region. The climate obviously varies throughout the European countries, but there is a recurring theme of quick and heavy flooding now and then.

The result of the quick but heavy downpour of rain in some areas is flooding. Now, when a flood happens, it can be directly due to a:

  • Bad drainage system
  • A moderately functioning drainage system that needs enhancement
  • An abnormal downpour of rain, normal rain, garbage stuck in the gutter
  • Or a combination of the mentioned factors

What is the implication of climate to the drainage system?

The change in rain patterns definitely requires the rethinking of the current models and designs of the drainage system. So far, there is no recommendation to change the whole system drastically.

The enhanced design of the drainage system should withstand the:

  • Frequency of rain
  • Extreme weather events
  • Rain downpour that can't be contained by a regular drainage system

What are the things to be enhanced in the current drainage system?

There should be the need to include parks and roads into the system of drainage in Europe (this is already observed in some tropical regions).

Final thought

Overall, there are two key things to get from this study.

  • First, despite the uncertain nature of the European weather (or the world's weather for that matter), one thing is clear - extreme downpour and frequency of rain in rural and urban drainage systems will get more frequent in the future due to climate change.
  • Second, there is a need to update or enhance the current design of the European drainage system. The dated drainage system could moderately withstand the amount of precipitation, but it is predicted that it won't hold for much longer.

Article Tags: Extreme Weather Events, Drainage Systems, Climate Change, European Countries, Drainage System, Extreme Weather, Weather Events

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Brian Fang is a writer for MR Drains Ltd, a drainage clearance and lining contractors in UK. He loves to write about various tools and techniques used for drainage clearance . Also shares a wide knowledge an information about drain services. MR Drains are a long established drainage specialist covering the South East, serving customers since past 20 years.

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