Where does the rain go?

A conference on urban rainwater management with inspiration from

Copenhagen, Paris, London, and Brussels

We know where the rain comes from, but do we know where it goes to? Rain is a very valuable resource without which we wouldn’t be able to survive, but cities often struggle to handle larger volumes falling from the sky at once. These larger volumes cause floods and sewage overflows damaging homes and infrastructure and polluting our waterways. And climate change will make it even worse in the future with more intense rainfall. Not only Brussels and other Belgian cities are trying to prevent floods and sewage overflows, some cities abroad can even be sources of inspiration.

That’s why Canal It Up and BRAL invited speakers from Copenhagen, Paris, and London to come and present their ambitious projects currently under construction. Copenhagen has its Cloudburst Management Plan, Paris is working very hard to make the Seine swimmable by 2024 and London is building a Super Sewer underneath the city.

We welcome all professionals and engaged citizens working on or interested by the theme. The conference is organized during the public inquiry of the Brussels Water Management plan 2022-2027. We hope the conference can feed the public inquiry with ideas and examples of what is possible abroad.




  • Lykke Leonardsen from the city of Copenhagen, head director of Resilient and Sustainable City Solutions.
  • Copenhagen is implementing its Cloudburst Management Plan, a 1.5 billion investment with 300 projects across the city, including the principle of integrated water management, to better manage rainwater and prevent floods and sewer overflows.


  • Samantha Freelove, Legacy & Sustainability Manager at Thames Tideway Tunnel, the company in charge of building the Super Sewer.
  •  London is currently building its Super Sewer to stop sewer overflows to the Thames, a very large and ambitious project to be completed by 2025.


  • Anita Ravlic from the city of Paris, Service Technique de l’Eau et de l’Assainissement, in charge of communication, international relations and the sewer museum.
  • Paris wants to make the Seine swimmable by 2024 to host several Olympic swimming disciplines in the river and therefore the water must be clean. That is why Paris, after many previous projects, is currently building its last stormwater basin called the Austerlitz project to end sewer overflows to the Seine by 2023.


  • Brussels is working on its last version of the Rainwater Management plan 2022-2027 and will present the future projects like the dynamic management of stormwater basins, the optimization of the overflows and integrated water management to prevent floods and sewage overflows to the canal and the Senne.

Practical information

Where: Tour & Taxis, Gebouw Leefmilieu Brussel, Avenue du Port 86C/3000, 1000 Brussels
When: Monday 6 March 2023, doors open at 1.30 pm and the conference starts at 2 pm, there will be a reception from 5 pm till 6 pm
Language: The conference will be in English, French and Dutch. Translators and earphones will be present so that everybody can follow the conference in their language of preference (EN/FR/NL).

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