Urban Water Agenda


Why an Urban Water Agenda 2030?

"Europe needs a new water directive that works for urban areas and cities"

Karin Wanngård, Mayor of Stockholm

Stockholm at work | Optimisation of water bodies

Water and the opportunities it offers for bathing, fishing and boating are important for Stockholmers, but even for tourists visiting the city. Clean water is a legacy we must cherish and maintain. In order to strengthen water initiatives, in 2015 the city council adopted an action plan to ensure that Stockholm’s lakes, coastal waters and waterways live up to the EU’s environmental quality standards for water. Stockholm is now developing local action plans for each of its 23 bodies of water.

Bathing places
In the 1940s and 50s, the water in Riddarfjärden was so polluted it was known as the dirty ditch. Today, you can bathe anywhere in Stockholm due to ambitious water management initiatives. Stockholm now has 31 official waterside bathing places. Generally, the bathing water is of good quality. During the years 2010–2014, the share of bathing water samples given the all-clear was 82 percent.

Storm water
The City of Stockholm has developed a storm water strategy that is to develop storm water management towards a more sustainable approach that mimics nature’s way of dealing with precipitation. One aim is to improve the quality of storm water, another is for the city’s urban planning to account for future climate change with increased rainfall. Leading up to 2100, rainfall is expected to increase by 30 percent, which will result in increased storm water flows.

Drinking water
The City of Stockholm sources its drinking water from Lake Mälaren, and the lake provides a total of 2.5 million people with their drinking water. Climate change is expected to deteriorate water quality in various ways. Today, there is a considerable flood risk around Lake Mälaren, but once the sluice gate Slussen has been redeveloped it will be possible to release more water from the lake. The banks of Lake Mälaren will then be protected against the effects of flooding for the next 100 years.

Interested in finding out more? Contact the Environmental and Health administration of the City of Stockholm, Gunnar Söderholm (e-mail: gunnar.soderholm[at]stockholm.se)


Quick facts on Stockholm

Location within country

Stockholm, capital of Sweden, is located on Sweden's south-central east coast, where the freshwater Lake Mälaren flows out into the Baltic Sea.

Number of inhabitants


Main economic sectors

- Finance
- Administration
- Biotech
- Telecom

Source/s of water supply

The lake Mälaren

Main utilities providing water and waste water services

Stockholm Water Company owned by the city

More information: www.stockholm.se

Updated: September 2017