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100 climate solutions from Danish Municipalities


A new climate adaptation facility has been designed to manage rainwater in Holstebro, the only inland area in Denmark at high risk of flooding.

Holstebro has been highlighted in the EU Floods Directive as the only inland city in Denmark to face significant flood challenges. These challenges will only be worsened by the changing climate. A major problem is that most of the area’s water drains off in the Storå stream running through Holstebro. This results in constantly elevated water levels which increase the risk of flooding in the city’s low-lying areas.


This risk will be mitigated with a new climate adaptation facility which will operate when the city is threatened by floods. Water will be withheld in the lake, Vandkraftsøen and a river valley outside the city. A dam with locks is being constructed in the river valley, while a new dam-and-lock facility is being built in front of an existing dam by the lake, both of which help retain water for a few days.

The lessons learned from the project are already being applied in the municipality’s other urban renewal projects.

A working group has been set up by the municipality to settle a compensation agreement with the owners of the land used for storing water. The facility is expected to be completed in a few years and will climate-proof 740 properties at an estimated value of 580 million EUR.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Clean Water and Sanitation

Floodwater in urban areas poses health and hygiene problems, and can potentially contaminate both ground and surface water. The new facility will ensure that floodwater is contained in the river.

Sustainable Cities and Communities

The project will protect 740 houses in Holstebro Municipality against extreme weather conditions, while simultaneously reducing potential negative economic consequences.

Partnerships for the Goals

The local sewage treatment company and Herning Municipality are also part of Holstebro Municipality’s project team. They cooperate with the agricultural organizations representing landowners in the project area.