Source: Dagens Nyheter
Southeast Skåne often faces water scarcity issues during the summer months. Drinking water in this region primarily comes from smaller waterworks that process groundwater. One such unassuming waterworks facility in the middle of Österlen plays a vital role in providing water to nearby communities, but it can face strain, particularly during the tourist-heavy Midsummer season.
In Sweden, drinking water is a combination of roughly half groundwater and half surface water. While surface water is visible, such as lakes, groundwater remains hidden underground. Groundwater levels in Skåne, especially in the eastern parts, are frequently reported to be low during summers. In over half of the municipalities, drinking water is sourced from Bolmen and Vombsjön instead.
The Swedish Geological Survey (SGU), monitoring groundwater levels since the 1960s, has been studying the impact of climate change on groundwater. While their results are still ongoing, there is a likelihood of climate change affecting groundwater availability.
Groundwater replenishment is a slow process, with precipitation seeping into the ground. In southern Sweden, groundwater is primarily formed during winter with minimal formation during summer. The opposite occurs in the northern parts, where precipitation accumulates as snow until spring melting initiates groundwater formation.
Calle Hjerne, a groundwater specialist at SGU, highlights that low groundwater levels have become more common in southern Sweden due to reduced snowfall and longer periods of warm weather. These factors result in decreased groundwater replenishment before the summer season.
Understanding the intricacies of groundwater levels is crucial for ensuring sustainable water management. Balancing water needs and preserving resources will be vital in maintaining a reliable water supply in the face of changing climate conditions.