Urban Water Agenda


Why an Urban Water Agenda 2030?

"The City of Antwerp has been playing a prominent role in Climate Adaptation for many years now. The city focuses on gaining knowledge, implementing climate adaptation  measures in pilot projects and the further implementation of an adaptation strategy. Participation and communication are key in the adaptation strategy. Climate Adaptation is  a new and evolving area.  With the UWA2030 the City of Antwerp wants to learn from other European cities and share its own knowledge with them. Together we can safeguard water resources in Europe."

Nabilla Ait Daoud, Municipal Councillor of the City of Antwerp for Youth, Environment, Child Care and Animal Welfare

Antwerp at work | Zuiderdokken

The City of Antwerp has selected the pilot project “Zuiderdokken”  to develop alternative and innovative solutions to tackle water related effects of climate change. The pilot project is a part of the European Sponge2020 project (funded through Interreg 2 Seas and the European Regional Development Fund) that aims to increase the capacity of densely populated cities to adapt to frequent intense rainfall and higher flood risks.

Traditional public investments in drainage and sewage systems are no longer sufficient because of financial and spatial constraints. The water concept of the “Zuiderdokken” is innovative because of the wide range of applications that will be used under the ground and in the park itself.  Water infiltration will be maximized via:

  • Using pervious pavements
  • Constructing rain gardens
  • Water buffering in wells
  •  Infiltration basins (in extreme situations, on and below the sunbathing area of the park as well)

The project will also contain:

  • Collective reuse of water
  • Water evaporation which provides cooling
  • Water playgrounds

With all these measures together, the “Zuiderdokken” will have sufficient storage and infiltration capacity for its own runoff water. This applies both now and for the forecasted climate change in 2100. In addition, the project is able to store the runoff water of a significant part of the adjacent residential district of Antwerp “het Zuid”. The reuse of water will help the city to face the expected water shortages in the future.

Interested in finding out more? Contact the project leader Jeroen Pasmans (e-mail: Jeroen.pasmans[at]vespa.antwerpen.be).




Aerial view of the pilot project “Zuiderdokken"

Antwerp's member of the UWA2030 Core Group

Ronny Van Looveren (Project leader for Climate Adaptation)

Ronny is a hydraulic engineer who, after a career of 20 years as a consultant, started working at the City of Antwerp to strengthen the Climate Adaptation team.


Quick facts on Antwerp

Location within country

The city of Antwerp is situated in the north of Belgium and is the biggest city of the Flemish Region. The city is situated along the Scheldt River and has the second largest port of Europe.

Number of inhabitants


Main economic sectors

- Harbour

- Diamond industry

Source/s of water supply

Surface water from the Meuse River that is conducted to Antwerp via the Albert Canal

Main utilities providing water and waste water services

Rio-link (waste water), Water-link (water supply)

More information: www.antwerpenmorgen.be/sponge2020

Updated: September 2017