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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.


Bilde av rennende vann over kum.
Project period
The Research Council of Norway
Total budget (NOK)
Research section
Water and society

About the project

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.

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:

  • Analyse the current system using workshops, interviews and document-analysis.

  • Envision a future sustainable UWM together with stakeholders and draft transition pathways.

  • 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.

  • 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 Research Council of Norway with co-funding from the project partners.


Project partners

In addition to NIVA, the project group consisted of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), the University of Oslo, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Wageningen University Research in the Netherlands, SoCentral, DNV-GL and Oslo Water and Wastewater Authority. In addition, several other relevant stakeholders was involved.

Project results

New Water Ways – Anbefalinger fra et borgerpanel

Learn more about the citizen-panel process.


Journal articles (peer-reviewed)

Wilkerson, B., Romanenko, E., Barton, D.N. (2021) Modeling reverse auction-based subsidies and stormwater fee policies for Low Impact Development (LID) adoption: a system dynamics analysis; Sustainable cities and society. 

Barton, D.N.; Venter, Z.S.; Sælthun, N.R.; Skumlien Furuseth, I.; Seifert-Dähnn, I. (2021). Brukerfinansiert klimaberedskap? En beregningsmodell for overvannsgebyr i OsloVann 2021/4 (in Norwegian). 

Furuseth, S.I., Barkved, J.L., Seifert-Dähnn, I. (2021). Lokale overvannstiltak i urbane boligområder – Erfaringer fra samarbeid på Grefsen-Kjelsås, OsloVann 2021/4 (in Norwegian).

Wilbers, Gert-Jan; de Bruin, Karianne; Seifert-Dähnn, Isabel; Lekkerkerk, Wiebe; Li, Hong; Budding-Polo Ballinas, Monserrat (2022). Investing in urban blue-green infrastructure – assessing the costs and benefits of stormwater management in a peri-urban catchment in Oslo, Norway; Sustainability

Hong Li, Hongkai Gao, Yanlai Zhou, Ina Storteig, Linmei Nie, Nils Roar Sælthun and Chong-Yu Xu (2022). Urban flood modeling of a partially separated and combined drainage system in the Grefsen basin in Oslo, Norway; Journal of Water Management ModellingDOI: 10.14796/JWMM.C480

Hong Li; Hongkai Gao; Yanlai Zhou; Chong-Yu Xu; Rengifo Z. Ortega M.; Nils Roar Sælthun. (2020). Usage of SIMWE model to model urban overland flood: a case study in Oslo. Hydrology Research (2020) 51 (2): 366–380.

Furuseth, I., Seifert-Dähnn, I., Braskerud, B., Azhar, S.Q. (2018). Overvann i bebygde strøk – tid for å involvere innbyggerneVann (in Norwegian)


Popular journal articles

Braskerud, B.C. and Paus, K.H. (2020). FNs bærekraftsmål og bruk av lokal overvannsdisponering – Et sammendrag fra utvalgte foredrag og ekskursjoner fra NORDIWA-konferansen i Helsinki 2019, Vann (in Norwegian)

Isabel Seifert-Dähnn, Therese Fosholt Moe, Elisabeth Ulrika Sjødahl, Julia Kvitsjøen, Line Barkved (2018). Åpne blå-grønne overvannsløsninger – utfordringer ved planlegging og implementering av flerfunksjonelle løsninger sett fra ulike fagperspektivKart og Plan 1-2018



Sælthun, N.R, Barton, D.N., Venter, Z.S. (2021). REO: Estimering av overflateavrenning fra urbane felt. Beregningsgrunnlag for et arealdifferensiert overvannsgebyr. NINA Rapport 1851. Norsk institutt for naturforskning.

Maureen van den Brink, Rosalie Fidder, Janneke Remmers, Jeroen Schoonderbeek. (2018). An urban living lab approach for the implementation of climate adaptation measures – Opportunities for Hovinbyen, Oslo 

B.C. Braskerud, S.Q. Azhar, L.J. Barkved, K. de Bruin, A.F. Christiansen, A.K. Fleig, E.B. Isager, H. Iversen, K. Kristensen, H. Li, I. Seifert-Dähnn, T. Skaugen, E.U. Sjødahl og E.P. Volden. (2019). Every raindrop counts – Blue-green infrastructure in cities; Examples of measures based on a Study Tour to Amsterdam and RotterdamNIVA-Report 7382-2019, ISBN 978-82-577-7117-1


Bachelor and master theses

Shireen Bars. (2021). Storm water management and environmental justice in cities. Master Thesis, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands.

James Virtue. (2021). Using the SIMulated Water Erosion (SIMWE) hydrological model to analyse potential flooding hotspots and the effects of Low Impact Developments (LIDs) -
A case study for the management of the Alna River catchment in Oslo, Norway
. Master Thesis, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany.

Jules Geeraert. (2021). Grey to Green Schoolyard Assessment, An assessment to show the impacts of green schoolyard transformations. Master Thesis, Environmental Technology Group, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands.

Ellen Birgitte Folgerø. (2020). Storm Water Management Model and the REO model. An Urban Hydrology Study, Vestli Hydrometric Station, Oslo. Master’s Thesis, Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo.

Wiebe Lekkerker. (2020). Opportunities to make Grefsen stormwater proof: developing adaptation pathways for the Grefsen district in Oslo, Norway. Water Systems and Global Change Group, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands.

Floor Mossink. (2020). The implementation of Blue-Green Infrastructure in a Sustainable Urban Stormwater Management. Comparing large and mid-sized cities in Denmark and the Netherlands. Master Thesis, Water Systems and Global Change Group, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands.

Tom van Bezooijen. (2019). Stormwater measures and urban fabrics. A case study of Hovinbyen, Oslo. Master Thesis, Water Systems and Global Change Group, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands. Tool developed for the thesis.

Maureen van den Brink. (2019). The valuation of stormwater solutions by experts and citizens, A Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis Framework for ranking stormwater solutions: the case of Oslo. Master Thesis, Water Systems and Global Change Group, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands

Trine Høimyr Holmberg (2019). Implications for Local Stormwater Treatment and Rainwater-use for Wastewater Treatment in Oslo. Master thesis, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Ina Storteig. (2019). Continuous urban hydrological modelling of discharge peaks with SWMM, Master thesis, Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo

Sjoerd van Megen. (2018). Urban Stormwater Management in Oslo, Norway; Barriers and policy instruments in the transition to sustainable stormwater management. Bachelor thesis, Water Resources Management Group, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands

Ragni Rønneberg Hernes. (2018). Evaluating Hydrological Performance of LID-Modules in Mike Urban; A Case Study of CSO Reduction in Grefsen, Oslo. Master Thesis, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology


Oral presentations and posters

David N. Barton(NINA), Zander Venter (NINA) og Nils Roar Sælthun(UiO). Arealdifferensiert overvannsgebyr Beregningsverktøy; Presentasjon på TEKNA-seminaret “Bærekraft i vannbransjen, 13. – 14.Jan. 2021

Isabel Seifert-Dähnn med flere. Overvannshåndtering – mono-poly? ; Presentasjon på TEKNA-seminaret “Bærekraft i vannbransjen, 13. – 14.Jan. 2021

Line Barkved & Isabel Seifert-Dähnn. «Nye veier for vannet». Presentasjon på nasjonalt seminar for restaurering av vassdrag og våtmark – 11.09.2020

Eduard Romanenko. (2020). “Diffusion Trajectories of Low Impact Development solutions for Urban Storm Water Management in Built-Up Areas”; The 38th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Bergen (virtual), July 20-22, 2020.

Brooke Wilkerson. (2020): Green-blue infrastructure implementation in urban areas: tradeoffs, synergies, and co-benefits. The 38th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Bergen (virtual), July 20-22, 2020.

Brooke Wilkerson. (2020). Urban green stormwater management: linking costs and benefits to society and nature. Society for Conservation Biology Social Science Working Group Twitter Conference. June 16, 2020.

Hong Li. (2019). “New Water Ways-Sustainable Urban Water Management”. The International Symposium of Hydrological Sciences and High-efficiency Water Resources Utilization under the Changing Environment (ISHW-2019), Wuhan, 24.-26.10.2019 (invited)

Hong Li. (2019). “Model Urban Overland Flood a case study in Oslo”. International Symposium on Sustainable Urban Drainage, Ningbo, 17.-19.10.2019

Isabel Seifert-Dähnn and Karianne de Bruin. (2019). Business potential of blue-green infrastructure, Urban Future Global Conference, Oslo, May 2019

Marianne Karlsson and Alexander Christiansen. (2018). Toward a climate adapted stormwater management regime in Oslo? A study of what different urban stakeholders understand as critical factors to achieve the goals in Oslo’s stormwater strategy, 5th Nordic Conference on Climate Change Adaptation, Norrköping, October 2018

Isabel Seifert-Dähnn and Line Barkved. (2017). Innovative tilnærminger til vannsensitive og klimatilpassede nordiske byer, Vannbransjens innovasjonskonferanse, Oslo, April 2018