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Helsinki meeting discusses stormwater management trends and quality standards

11 March, 2020 - 11:21

The second BSR WATER platform project meeting took place in Helsinki, Finland, on 10–11 March 2020. This meeting was focused on the topic of stormwater, as part of the platform's activities are going into the direction of formulating recommendations for sustainable stormwater management.


The first day of the project meeting was organized to involve external stakeholders for a wider dialogue on regional needs of the sector. In the keynote, the Helsinki expert Nora Sillanpää highlighted approaches to stormwater quality – impacts of land use, management opportunities and development needs. Afterwards, the platform partners from Riga City Council, Nika Kotoviča and Jurijs Kondratenko presented the findings from the large process of surveying stormwater policies and implementation of sustainable urban stormwater management in cities of the Baltic Sea Region. These findings, researched in the frame of BSR WATER, do not include yet all collected information, as the work still continues and more answers and interviews need to be processed, but some trends are already visible in the process.

An important actor of the stormwater dialogue is HELCOM: Marta Ruiz, Associate Professional Secretary, introduced how BSR WATER platform contributed to the revision of the HELCOM Recommendation 23/5 Reduction of discharges from urban areas by the proper management of storm water systems. The platform's input in these recommendations was based on the findings of the iWater project, one of the platform projects.

— Are we missing something?

Contact Marta.Ruiz ( if you have any comments to the current draft version of the Recommendation 23/5.

All input is highly appreciated!

BSR WATER aims to bring the results and findings discovered through projects and partners' shared experiences to the policy level. In this work it is important to enable discussions between different stakeholders – and so in our meeting we launched a discussion on platform cooperation: how to strengthen it to answer the needs of all sides of this cooperation, and what new paths can be made. The discussion was joined by the representatives of EUSBSR HA Neighbours (Juhani Ailio) and PA Nutri (Anna Hernberg). Furthermore, throughout the platform's lifespan we are constantly reaching out to other relevant projects developed in the Baltic Sea Region. One of the projects we have established cooperation with is the NOAH project (Protecting Baltic Sea from untreated wastewater spillages during flood events in urban areas), and its partners were invited to the meeting to provide valuable input in their project's activities.

After the presentations and discussions, the participants were taken to the site visit: the City of Helsinki develops different smart stormwater solutions for its areas, and three stormwater solutions were included in the tour to Metsälä and Töölönlahti (short video from the first site available). Read more about two of the solutions on the Baltic Smart Water Hub:


The second day of the meeting continued with more internal discussions, updates on mutual progress in the project, collecting partners' opinions and shared experiences, and testing developed tools.

Presentations from the meeting


Introduction to the BSR WATER project
Agnieszka Ilola, Union of the Baltic Cities Sustainable Cities Commission

Storm water quality – impacts of land use, management opportunities and development needs
Nora Sillanpää, Sitowise Oy

Key findings of the Survey on integrated storm water management in the BSR and preparation of recommendations
Nika Kotoviča and Jurijs Kondratenko, Riga City Council

Status of the updated HELCOM Recommendation 23/5 Reduction of discharges from urban areas by the proper management of storm water systems
Marta Ruiz, HELCOM

Selected solutions on storm water from Baltic Smart Water Hub
Stefan Rettig, Technical University Berlin

Discussion on storm water management challenges and future needs
Nika Kotoviča and Jurijs Kondratenko, Riga City Council

Policy briefs on hazardous substances
Jana Wolf, HELCOM

Involvement of key stakeholders in BSR WATER platform cooperation: