Stormwater Poland 2021
Within the 5th edition of the conference we have
prepared for you 5 really diversified sessions.
Taking into consideration the location of the conference we would like to start the event with a session we called: Silesian retention. There are more than many reasons for such issue to be discussed all having one underlying statement that Silesia is a unique and demanding battlefield for stormwater in Poland. The Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia and Dąbrowa Basin, which is a partner of the conference, is composed of 41 communes (including 26 rural communes) that take up over 2500 km2 with more than 2,200,000 people living, working, and studying there. This is a large metropolitan association that everyone connotes with the biggest industrial centre in Poland. This generates multiple challenges connected with stormwater escalated by the fact that the whole area is located on a drainage divide on the two largest Polish rives, which often means no access to the natural receivers of stormwater. Moreover, due to further industrialization of Silesia region there have been many changes in hydrologic networks where pipes were laid in many rivers, reaches were changed or rivers canalised, and due to soil settlement their slopes and downfall directions changed, and new depression areas appeared. This becomes a difficult but fascinating challenge, which we would like to address together. We hope that during this session we will learn about the condition of stormwater management on the area of the Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia and Dąbrowa Basin and about possible improvement solutions. We also hope to present examples of using stormwater in remediation and renaturalisation of post-industrial areas that were applied abroad. Finally, our ambition is to show a different and lesser-known side of the Silesia region and the potential of using local solutions of blue-green infrastructure for mitigating climate change.
On the threshold of Stormwater Poland 2021 conference we put forward the thesis that there is no better place than Silesia and Katowice not only to discuss, but most of all to act in order to mitigate climate change. In December 2018 International Congress Centre in Katowice, the venue for Stormwater Poland 2021 conference, held United Nations Climate Change Conference, Katowice 2018 (COP24).
A City with Climate
Following thing global act local motto we believe that the second session of the conference called A City with Climate will familiarise you with the activities of Ministry of Climate, National Fund for Environment Protection and Water Management that are already in progress or in planning phase, dedicated to retention development and rainwater management in Poland as well as preventing extreme weather phenomena. It should be remembered that Silesia is the area particularly vulnerable to torrential rain since large masses of humid air from the south of Europe inflow through Moravian Gate. It is our intention that through Moravian Gate not only rain but also good ideas on how to cope together with extreme weather phenomena such as droughts and torrential rain in the whole East-Central Europe should flow in. RetencjaPL had the pleasure to present PANDa Atlas, which at that time was still being developed, at COP24 conference in Katowice. In 2021 we would like to present, in the very same place, the completed version of PANDa atlas together with waterfolder.com, a spin-off internet portal, and demonstrate how the two contribute to the modernisation and immunisation of Polish stormwater systems to climate change.
The aforementioned Moravian Gate has played the role of a route connecting Poland with the south of Europe since time immemorial. It is therefore not a surprise that Silesia is truly a traffic junction of Poland. On the area of the Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia and Dąbrowa Basin, besides the largest motorway traffic junction (at the crossing of motorways A1 and A4) three European routes and eight national routes run through this area. On top of that, there are several railway junctions, a several dozen of railway lines and the international Katowice Airport. We do hope that such advanced communication infrastructure will make your travel to the venue of the conference safe and pleasant. However, the aforementioned roads, trackage and runways are places where large runoffs form. That is why we have arrived with an idea for a separate session called Road Drainage. We would like to present during this session new technologies in this area, but most of all discuss the need for harmony in designing and operating road and urban drainage systems since, in most cases, the water from roads gets into cities. What should we do with it, how to retain and pretreat it, how to share the costs of operating stormwater systems on the verge of a city and transport route?
Following the previous editions we would like to focus your attention on the correct and deliberate operation of stormwater systems. We know that the number of retention facilities and the length of storm drains are increasing and, at the same time, social demands for providing the necessary reliability of drainage systems functioning is increasing as well. This pressure, from our point of view, is too big to be coped with using only conventional tools. That is why we would like to hold a separate session at the conference dedicated to Intelligent Exploitation. Here we could demonstrate digital solutions connected with elements of artificial intelligence that will allow to dynamically manage drainage systems and stormwater. We are convinced that just like in our private and professional lives during lockdown just in exploitation we have to learn to do many things remotely since “Everything flows and nothing stands still!”
Debate about the future
If everything is to change, in order to sum up the conference we need a Debate about the future. Just like at previous events we would like to formulate specific actions to be done at the threshold of 2021 since we do not want Stormwater Poland conferences to be just a meeting, but an event that will change the world step by step in such a way that rainwater will be perceived as a valuable asset and not as threat. This is possible! A lot has changed so far! Can you recall that during Stormwater Poland 2017 we used the term wastewater instead of stormwater, and that we put forward the idea that Poland would benefit from a precipitation atlas just like KOSTRA in Germany, and that we all should financially support stormwater retention in any possible way?
At the time we did not think that retention would become an important issue raised during a presidential campaign in Poland and the European Union will change its New Green Deal policy and its battling the results of climate change. We are ahead of an interesting period of time when large financial means will flow to Poland. Are we going to use them well? The ability to manage rainwater is currently becoming a constraint for development of urban areas. Will the future development of infrastructure be paired with reasonable stormwater management? We want to further change the world of stormwater and cocreate the vision of friendly and safe cities in Poland, but we can all achieve this only by working together. That is why we encourage you to cooperate with us in creation of this event. We kindly ask you to share your experience and ideas on how to enrich the substantive side of your event, which key points have been laid out above. We encourage you to take active participation as speakers, panel experts, and workshop moderators. We cordially invite you to contact us because it is only your energy that can change anything and make everything flow in the right direction so that stormwater in Poland is used in a good way.