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Area: 5888268 km2
Brazil; Peru; Suriname; France; Colombia; Guyana; Bolivia; Venezuela; Ecuador
Santa Cruz; Manaus; La Paz
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City & Country

Water-Related Challenge Costs

Total annual estimated cost to address all water-related challenges: $757,517,667.00

Share of total annual estimated cost to address each individual challenge (2015 $USD):

  • Access to Drinking Water: $39,298,310.00 - [5%]
  • Access to Sanitation: $32,696,956.00 - [4%]
  • Industrial Pollution: $38,369,910.00 - [5%]
  • Agricultural Pollution: $35,621,019.00 - [5%]
  • Water Scarcity: $485,278,527.00 - [64%]
  • Water Management: $126,252,945.00 - [17%]

For more about this data, see information on WRI’s Achieving Abundance dataset here.

Water Challenges

As reported by organizations on the Hub.

Access to Water Supply and Water Services
Local Water Resource Governance
Physical water supply
Socioeconomic and Reputation
Upstream Water Issues
Water Demand and Competition among Users

Country Overview

1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES Finland is uniquely rich in surface waters, with a grand total of 187,888 lakes and ponds larger than 500m2, and rivers totalling 25,000km in length. Almost a tenth of the country's total land area is covered by water. The total length of the intricate coastlines of the Baltic Sea in the west and the south add up to an impressive 46,000km when the shorelines of islands are included. Although Finland has plenty of aquifers, these resources are not distributed evenly across the country. The most significant aquifers are in large moraine and esker features made of sands and gravels deposited at the end of the last Ice Age approximately 10,000 years ago. Water is typically clean, well oxygenated, and often also easily extractable. The Salpausselkä deposits in southern Finland in particular hold important aquifers.

1.1.2.WATER USE Approximately 2.2 per cent (2,3 Mm3/yr) of the total amount (108 Mm3/yr) of freshwater is used annually in Finland. Most freshwater – around 80 percent – is used by industry. The next biggest users are households, which consume about 15 per cent. Irrigation in Finland accounts for only about 3 percent of the total freshwater consumption. Despite the fact that Finland is rich in water, water shortages can exist regionally and locally, especially during dry summer months. It is therefore important to be prepared for exceptional natural conditions by establishing strategies to adapt to these conditions and to combat their harmful effects.

1.2.WATER QUALITY, ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN HEALTH Compared with many other countries, water resources in Finland are rich. Renewable freshwater reserves amount to an estimated 21,000m3 per inhabitant, whereas the threshold for water poverty has been set at 1,700m3 per person. In Finland significant loads of pollutants enter water bodies in runoff from farmland, managed forests or peat mining sites; in wastewater from municipal wastewater treatment plants, industrial facilities, or livestock facilities; in effluent from fish farms; in wastewater from houses in rural areas with no public sewerage system; and in storm water from built-up areas, mines and quarries, or landfills. Significant quantities of pollutants from previously contaminated sediments and soils can also gradually leach into water bodies. Pollutants deposited from the atmosphere, such as acidifying substances, can also impair the state of water bodies. Significant point source activities are obliged to monitor their discharges in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act. For diffuse sources of pollutants, models or calculation methods are used to estimate total discharges. Pollutant loads from industry, municipal wastewater treatment plants and fish farms have been effectively reduced in Finland. However, diffuse loads from farmland, managed forests and scattered rural settlements have proven to be much more difficult to curb. Eutrophication and excessive plant growth, especially in lakes with shallow water levels, have been the main problems in many Finnish lakes in spite of the effective reduction by the 1990s of point source nutrient loading. Eutrophication is still a major problem particularly in small lakes due to loading from diffuse sources, internal phosphorus loading and changes in the food web. The most popular in-lake restoration methods of eutrophic lakes have been aeration (including deliberate destratification) and food-web management. Control of macrophytes, raising of the water level and dredging have been applied in overgrown shallow lakes and shore areas. About 50 new projects have been launched annually. The aquifers in Finland’s glacial deposits rank in quality among the best reserves of groundwater in the world. Groundwater in Finland is generally soft, with low concentrations of dissolved substances and low pH (6-7). Most of Finland’s groundwater is of good quality, since it is better protected against contamination than surface water. In some coastal areas where groundwater is scarcer, however, water has had to be extracted from beneath clay deposits, and such reserves may have high iron and manganese content. In coastal areas, excessive groundwater extraction may also cause salt water intrusion to contaminate wells. Harmful concentrations of arsenic, fluorine and radon occur in certain areas due to local geological features.

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Country Water Profile

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Organizations in Finland

The Finnish water stewardship commitment challenges companies to assess water risks in their value chains and to engage in collective action to develop sustainable water use and governance. The founding partners of the commitment, Finnish research institutes, ministries and WWF … Learn More

Metsä Board is a leading European producer of premium paperboards including folding boxboards, food service boards and white kraftliners. Our lightweight paperboards based on pure fresh fibres are developed as the perfect fit for consumer goods, retail-ready and food service … Learn More

Stora Enso is the global rethinker of the paper, biomaterials, packaging and wood products industry. We always rethink the old and expand to the new to offer our customers innovative solutions based on renewable materials. Stora Enso is participate actively … Learn More

Our Purpose: We create a future beyond fossils. As a frontrunner in forest industry, we provide renewable solutions for various end uses. We invest in sustainable growth and innovate for a future beyond fossils. Responsibility is at the core of … Learn More

Projects in Finland

Summary Seawater/Lake Water Air Conditioning (SWAC/LWAC) technology produces air conditioning without the use of chemical agents. Acting alone, SWAC/LWAC can reduce electricity usage by up to 90% when compared to traditional air conditioning systems. When developed in conjunction with Ocean … Learn More

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