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Stockholm City Water Programme and the   Action Plan for good water status

In   Stockholm, ‘the Venice of The North’, ten per cent of the city’s area is   covered by water, and the many lakes are highly valued for recreational   purposes. The city’s affinity and intrinsic aquatic character resonated with   the EU Water Framework Directive and its strong focus upon achieving good   ecological and chemical status, leading to the adoption in 2006 of an   ambitious Water Protection Programme (2006 -2015) which set objectives for   cleaner water and outlined methods to achieve this. The objective of   improving water quality in the city was to be achieved in a way that   preserved the recreational value of the lakes and streams. Until the end of   the programme progress has been made both concerning water quality and   increasing recreational value of many water bodies.

Ongoing   political ambition to reinforce local efforts towards improved water quality   led to the adoption in 2015 of an Action Plan for good water status as a   follow up of the late Water Protection Programme (Stockholms stad, 2015).   Within this new plan separate local programmes of measures (PoM) are planned   for each water body.

The   Stockholm City Water Programme and the Action Plan for good water status are   considered good practice examples of what can be achieved if there is strong   political will to allocate funding for a major and long term water   improvement program benefiting both aquatic ecosystems and the urban   population in enjoying the water bodies and their ecosystems.


Lastly, increased pressures on urban water ecosystems are expected to result from climate change and its interaction with socio-economic factors like geopolitics, economic trends, demographic change, further urbanisation and urban sprawl, among others (EEA, 2016a). This also calls for the preparation of appropriate water management strategies in the urban context to cope with impacts and increase resilience. Such strategies should take careful consideration of the state of the environment, society and the economy at the local level (Anthonj et al., 2014) to ensure their objectives can be efficiently achieved. Furthermore, the actions planned within these strategies should go beyond addressing the direct impacts of climate change to consider the broader knock-on effects that could follow (EEA, 2016a). A good example of a city strategy taking several of these factors carefully into account is the case of the Water Plan for Rotterdam.

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