Sweden and 21st Century Water Challenges 

 The effect on the city, industry and citizens

The world's water is an important natural resource—a basic prerequisite for life—and is vital to ensuring long-term sustainable development. With this report, WSP seeks to contribute new knowledge about the challenges and opportunities associated with future water use.

We have plenty of water in Sweden today - but we must be concerned about future supply.
Quotes from the national survey

Quick figures from WSP's surveys

What are the challenges and opportunities? How do we need to work in the future, and what issues are particularly important to aquaculture or consumers? In the report, we present both the challenges ahead and possible solutions. The report also contains an appendix with statistics from the survey studies WSP completed. 

FOUR OUT OF TEN CITIZENS

do not know where the drinking water comes from.

 

TWO OUT OF THREE MUNICIPALITIES

have been affected by climate change or extreme weather events but only 26% have a climate adaptation plan.

TWO OUT OF FIVE CITIZENS

have been affected by water shortage in recent years.

FOUR OUT OF TEN MUNICIPALITIES

consider that a lack of capacity in the water systems means that the municipality cannot grow to the desired extent.

SEVERAL FACTORS MAKE THE MUNICIPALITY'S WORK MORE DIFFICULT

regarding future-proofing water and wastewater supply, including time (69%), skills (49%) and money (47%).

60% OF CITIZENS

over the last five years have changed their behavior to save water. 
70% of citizens have no preparedness for an event where they could be without water for 24 hours. 

BOTTLED WATER IS NEARLY 250 TIMES AS EXPENSIVE AS TAP WATER

per litre, and the transport of one litre of packaged water gives rise to more than a thousand times greater carbon dioxide emissions than the same amount of tap water.

12% OF CITIZENS

believe that the supply of drinking water will be better in 10 years.

34% OF CITIZENS

believe that the supply of drinking water will be worse in 10 years.


Future-proof water - but how?

WSP is working to secure the water supply for the future, both in Sweden and globally. As the pace of change in society quickens, and with increasing complexity, different types of knowledge and forward-thinking work are needed to find the most future-proof solutions. 
To secure Sweden's future, both public and private players need to act in several areas. WSP has chosen to highlight five. In the report, we write more extensively about these areas.

  1. New climate adaptation strategies
  2. Strengthened cooperation across municipal boundaries 
  3. Increased level of investment and new forms of financing 
  4. Work with different instruments for smarter water consumption
  5. Case studies from other parts of the world

In connection with the report, WSP conducted two surveys, one aimed at citizens and one at Swedish municipalities. The Citizens' Survey was completed in October 2019 in collaboration with the global insight company CINT. In total, more than 1,000 Swedes, as part of a nationally representative sample, responded to claims about the supply of fresh water now and in the future, what is believed about the effects of climate change on the water, and their own municipality's preparedness to prevent and solve any lack of access to water. In the survey addressed to Swedish municipalities, WSP collected responses from approximately 100 municipalities scattered throughout the country. The questions concerned the corresponding areas but from a municipal perspective.

Download the report

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