"How much rain seeps into the ground in the Tiergarten? How much evaporates on the Tempelhofer Feld? And how much goes into the sewers at Potsdamer Platz?" The Berlin Senate Department for Urban Development has been answering these types of questions since the 1990s. Corresponding results have since been published as part of the Berlin Environmental Atlas.
Infiltration, evaporation and runoff are the components of the water balance. For several years now, the city of Berlin has been using the water balance model ABIMO to reliably calculate how the three components influence each other and what share each component has in the precipitation that falls on the capital. ABIMO was originally developed by the Federal Institute of Hydrology in Koblenz and later adapted to the specific conditions of the urban water balance in Berlin. In terms of data structures and parameterisation, the Berlin version of the programme is very much tailored to the specific situation in Berlin. However, ABIMO has also been successfully applied to some extent in other cities, such as Dresden, Leipzig, or even Ho Chi Minh City.
This success story can be read in a section dedicated to ABIMO on the GitHub developer platform. But that is not all. The city of Berlin also released the source code of the Berlin version of ABIMO (version 3.2) (https://github.com/umweltatlas/abimo)! This means that not only can every single step of the water balance calculation now be reproduced, it also opens the door to further development of ABIMO and water balance research. The AMAREX project team at KWB has already started working on this. Our aim is to adapt ABIMO for the purposes of the AMAREX project. The programme code was "hijacked", or "cloned", and is now being further developed in cooperation with the Berlin Senate Department for Urban Development, Building and Housing. As part of AMAREX, ABIMO will be made transferable to other urban spaces, such as to the city of Cologne. It will also soon be possible to include rainwater management measures in the calculations. ABIMO will then be used to predict which and how measures will affect the water balance.
Stay tuned to find out more about our work with ABIMO!