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Environmental Protection Agency – digital dialogue and reporting IT tool

Bringing local knowledge into play

The agreement on the Food and Agriculture Package from December 2015 stipulated that local knowledge should be drawn on in the classification, demarcation and designation of the water courses covered in the 2015-2021 national wetlands plans. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency had to create an IT tool for the municipalities and water councils to this end. This IT tool is called ‘Demarcation and proposed designation of water courses in VP2’.

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency
WebKort solution for viewing, reporting on and approving watercourses and related initiatives

Nationwide project with many parties and tasks

To complete the work, local water councils were set up in the 23 main water catchment areas in Denmark. Each water council consisted of about 20 members from various organisations with an interest in the watercourses. Their task was to advise the municipalities on how to perform the work. The water councils had ‘view only’ access to Sweco’s Spatial Suite IT tool throughout the process. They were therefore able to report valuable local knowledge about the watercourses to the municipality.

Municipalities and water councils were given three sub-tasks in ‘Demarcation and proposed designation of water courses in VP2’. The municipalities could report and the water councils could follow the municipalities’ reporting on their separate site – and regularly exchange information. Sweco supplied the Spatial Suite digital dialogue/reporting and approval IT tool to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, and has provided regular service on it throughout the process.

IT tool made a complicated process possible

The Spatial Suite IT tool was designed to support cooperation between municipalities and water councils across municipal boundaries. ‘Demarcation and proposed designation of water courses in VP2’ is one of many projects at the Ministry of the Environment that requires an overview of land designations and uses, and for which Sweco provides service.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s use of Spatial Suite has made it possible, digitally, to have a dynamic map that all parties can access at the same time and make revisions and proposals for watercourse demarcation etc. The agency’s use of the IT tool resulted in a faster and simpler process, and made it possible to share knowledge within the water councils and between the water councils and municipalities: For example, the parties could exchange information, subscribe to email notifications, and manage document sharing – down to the smallest watercourse segment. Spatial Suite also keeps track of figures in a broader context – from draft to approval – that relate to the individual watercourse segments and that have implications for the entire watercourse and nation.

In connection with the project for the Environmental Protection Agency, Sweco satisfied the complicated process by doing a large customisation in Spatial Suite, and doing continuous development and releases to fulfil the agency’s wishes. Sweco’s vision was to have the program ready on time, with prototypes and new special buttons, so that the many players would be satisfied with the product. Sweco was therefore always available, so that the product could keep up with the process.