Preparing Edinburgh for climate change

Water management

One of the ways we're preparing Edinburgh for the changes in our climate is through our Vision for management of water in Edinburgh. This strategy has nine aims which will help us move towards a more water-resilient city and we are working with Scottish Water and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to achieve these aims.

Managing rainfall and making cooler spaces

One key aims of the water vision is the need to manage the first five milimeters of rainfall within every new development plot. This means building more rain gardens, green roofs and other sustainable urban drainage features. As well as reducing flooding this will help more plants and wildlife to grow and create greener places for people to live, work and visit. It will also support healthier, happier and better off communities.

A greener city will make our neighbourhoods cooler, helping them become more resilient to heatwaves. This is important as our changing climate means extreme weather events like heatwaves are expected to increase.

Find out more about how to sustainably manage rainfall

Improving drainage

Much of Edinburgh has a historic combined sewer network. This means it carries both sewage and surface water to treatment works. Our vision for management of water will reduce the amount of clean surface water within the sewer network. This will help cut flooding during heavy rainfall.

We also have guidance for the design of sustainable urban drainage systems. This will help people to design landscapes which, as well as holding back water to reduce flooding, will encourage plants and wildlife to grow. As well as making these places nicer to spend time in, they will help to naturally clean rainwater before it reaches our rivers and streams.