Blauwe Aderplan Geldrop-Mierlo

Severe weather

The project

Due to frequent disruptions caused by intense rainfall due to climate change, the municipality of Geldrop-Mierlo commissioned Iv to develop a ‘blauwe aderplan’ (a plan involving spatial modifications to surface water and associated watercourses). The plan consists of a long-term vision for collecting, transporting and infiltrating rainwater for the entire municipality. Alongside this, Iv is also developing a new Basic Sewer Plan , allowing for an integral approach and a focused examination of locations prone to flooding. In addition to these technical roles, Iv has played an essential role in environmental management, ensuring that the project aligns with community needs and regulatory requirements.

The challenge

In the summer of 2020, when Iv began working on the sewer model for the Basic Sewer Plan, Geldrop-Mierlo experienced heavy rainfall and flooding. Streets rapidly turned into ‘rivers’, leaving living rooms underwater. This situation required not only a long-term vision but also immediate action. In such emergencies, the provision of information is crucial. With the submission of hundreds of reports, individual attention to each case is impractical. A public information evening was followed by discussions with smaller groups and representatives from specific neighbourhoods or districts. By involving residents from the outset, local people played a key role in developing solutions and contributed valuable ideas and feedback.

The impact

Input from residents and site analysis led to the identification of 84 measures. These include simple surface-level interventions such as lowering kerbs, adding or removing bumps, installing venting manhole covers and backflow valves, cleaning watercourses, reducing pipe sizes and creating emergency outlets. These measures are designed to improve the functionality of the sewer system and reduce flooding. More extensive measures include the construction of catch basins and developing open water catchment areas (wadis).


Iv developed these interventions from the initial design to the monitoring of implementation. The site characteristics were analysed to provide direction and structure for future measures. By combining this information, promising water capture or infiltration areas were identified. Based on this analysis, a proposal was made for a ‘blauwe ader’ system designed to optimally and comprehensively manage and collect rainwater throughout the municipality in the medium to long term.

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Wouter van der Wiel