SPONGE2020 is a partnership project between Dutch, British and Flemish local authorities, including Southend-on-Sea Borough Council. The aim is to co-create and implement climate change adaption solutions, including Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS).

This project aims to improve drainage and demonstrate how SuDS and surface water management measures can be implemented across the Borough to deliver long-term sustainable water management. SPONGE2020 may pave the way for a wide rollout of these solutions to reduce the risks of and damage from urban flooding across the 2 Seas areas at considerably lower costs.


SPONGE2020 is part of the 2 Seas Interreg Programme which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.


This European programme aims to enhance international cooperation, particularly around the effects of climate change. The group consists of partners with experience in alternative adaptation techniques, like SuDS, and working jointly with stakeholders to implement these techniques. Involving local stakeholders in co-creating and implementing innovative climate adaptation measures is new terrain for local (water) authorities.


The SPONGE2020 project aims to fully engage and cooperate with all stakeholders, such as residents, housing associations, architects, urban planners, local authorities and community groups. Co-creation of potential solutions contributes to awareness of climate change mitigation issues and jointly supported responsibility to protect the local environment.


Planning for the SPONGE2020 project began with our European partners in July 2016. The Regional Water authority of Schieland and Krimpenerwaard are the lead partner and are responsible for the co-ordination between the partners.


Since July 2016, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has worked carefully to design a drainage strategy and landscape plan to enhance local biodiversity and the Southend seafront area. The SPONGE2020 programme runs until June 2020.


For more information about SuDS, click here.


For more information about our partner sites across Europe, please click the logos below:

In September 2018, the SPONGE2020 partners came together at an international conference focused on climate change. Watch the video below to find out more: