According to climate scenario projections made for Estonia, our country will face significant changes in temperature, wind and rainfall by 2100.

Annual precipitation in Estonia will increase by 19% whereas the highest growth is expected in spring (24%) and winter (22%). At the same time, higher frequency of rainfall exceeding 30 mm per day (increase by 99% in 2021–2030, by as much as 231% in 2031–2050 and by 435% in 2051–2100) as well as higher frequency and severity of torrential rains in the summer are to be expected. It is already now that the existing rainwater systems cannot cope with torrential rain, and floods in cities occur due to insufficient storm water drainage.

An extremely important share of responsibility in this respect rests with local governments which organise the construction and maintenance of storm water management systems in the territory of their municipalities. This is the reason it is reasonable to start increasing their resilience to climate changes now, especially their capability to manage floods caused by torrential rains, including the development of rainwater harvesting solutions (SuDS, see more).


The LIFE Urban Storm project aims to develop sustainable and climate-resilient storm water management systems.

The aim of the project is to increase the capacity of Estonian municipalities to adapt to climate changes, especially in managing the floods caused by torrential rains.

It is also important to increase the performance capacity of water management specialists and engineers in Estonian municipalities and multiplying the output of the project in other municipalities.

Expected effect – by the end of the project

  • An area of approximately 15 ha in Viimsi will have been made more resilient to climate changes

  • Decrease in requests for repair crews and cases of flooding due to storm water in the catchment areas connected to the sample area

  • Water management specialists of Estonian municipalities will be aware of SuDS solutions

  • The awareness of Tallinn and Viimsi residents about sustainable storm water management solutions and adapting to climate changes will have increased

  • The willingness of developer to use sustainable storm water management solutions will have increased.

Achieved results by the end of Project in 2023

  • overview of gaps and constraints in legislative framework with recommendations;
  • overview of existing practices, with 3 study visits;
  • climate Change Adaptation Strategies and Action Plans for Viimsi and Tallinn;
  • competent storm water experts and specialists of municipal infrastructure development are, with 4 training sessions for altogether 146
  • cost-effective Viimsi storm water management system, incl. digitalised location and parameters, 4 mobile weather stations, 4 flow metres, proposals of legal acts and standards, and established organisational structure.
  • 4 different nature-based SuDS solutions in 2 demo site locations in Viimsi; 36 000 m3 rainwater per year drained in demo sites; 18 hectares of land turned flood resilient.
  • the number of emergencies concerning the problems with rainwater
    • in Viimsi, decreased from 21 to 13 in overall
    • in Tallinn, decreased from 7 to 0 in Trummi demo area.
  • the number of flooding cases concerning the problems with rainwater in overall:
    • in Viimsi, decreased from 55 to 27
    • in Tallinn, decreased from 242 to 237
  • 9 municipalities from the strategies and actions replication focus group have started compilation of a climate change adaptation strategy and action plan;
  • the socio-economic impact of Project actions and their impact on urban ecosystems clarified.
  • at least 80% of Estonian cities’ water management specialists are aware about SuDS and 60% of the experts and specialists are aware about the project activities and achievements as a result of dissemination of information.
  • wider outreach of the project information achieved, incl. Project logo, website, 4 notice boards and 3 roll-ups, 28 articles in the media, 4 information stands, 1 public SuDS event and Layman report.
  • correct management of Project activities, with quality outputs and on-time reporting to EU LIFE Programme.
  • sustainability of project outcomes clarified in the form of After LIFE Plan, how project main outcomes will be maintained.

See also the LIFE UrbanStorm project in a nutshell (Layman’s Report).


See here for the comprehensive overview of the actions and their schedule.


  • Total project budget: 1,957,843 euros, including the eligible part of the budget 1,686,093 euros + additional financing by Viimsi municipality 581,203 euros.
  • Contribution of the EU LIFE programme (60% of the eligible part): 1,011,654 euros.
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