After a dry and hot summer, and not enough snow in the winter, ground water levels are below normal in Sweden. The shortage affects both larger repositories, which provide water to those connected to the municipal water networks, and smaller ones from which those with their own well get water.
It does not help that Sweden has been in a similar situation for the past few years, but this April is particularly bad compared to 2018, according to the Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU).
“The conditions for recovering our groundwater levels are not particularly good. It will require a large amount of precipitation now that it is starting to get warm and green,” Bo Thunholm, hydrogeologist and groundwater expert at SGU, told Swedish news agency TT.
If it does not rain soon, Sweden is heading for a repeat of last year's situation when many areas banned residents from using water from the municipal network for anything other than drinking.
Southern and central Sweden (the Götaland and Svealand regions), especially coastal areas such as the Stockholm archipelago and the Baltic Sea island of Gotland are particularly at risk this year.
Gotland, which often suffers from a water shortage in summer, issued a hosepipe ban as early as April 1st, and Sala in central Sweden also has a ban in place in some parts of the municipality.
A hosepipe ban means you may not water your lawn with a hose, not wash your car at home and not fill the pool with water from the municipal water network. It does not affect those who draw water from their own well.
“We were already in a difficult situation and have not caught up since last year. The groundwater levels in the large reservoirs are low or very low,” Peter Daun, communications officer for the technical administation of Region Gotland, told TT.
“But people understand how serious it is and everyone does their bit.”