This is how water protection works

To ensure future access to clean drinking water we have to take care of the lakes which provide us with the source water. In Åland there are three water protection areas where you have to be extra careful about how you affect the water environment. Within the water protection area, special regulations apply, which are particularly strict closest to the lake.

The water protection area includes the catchment area of the lakes that we use for source water. The catchment area is the land from which surface runoff is draining into that lake during precipitation. Rain falling within this area can bring nutrients or toxic substances to the lake.

§ A waterprotection area is a geographic area for protection of a groundwater or surface water source which is or might come to be used as source water for drinking water production.

Why we have water protection areas

We are living in times of climate change, increasing global population and declining resources. Clean water is a resource neccessary for human survival and quality of life. Today we have enough access to clean drinking water in Åland, but the quality of our source water is, according to measurments, declining.

Clean water is also necessary for many businesses and activities, such as drinking water manufacturing, fishing, agriculture, outdour life, industries and infrastructure. However, all human activity can also affect water quality and the habitats of aquatic organisms.

The better the quality of the source water, the easier the cleaning process here at Åland Vatten.


Measurements show that the water quality in the lakes of Åland, after decades of improving, are now unsatisfactory and contunuing to decline.

How do we protect the water

The regulations in and around the water protection areas are there to protect our resource from damage. Special regulations apply for chemichals, transportation of hazardous goods as well as for agriculture, forestry, industries and waste water treatment.

In the event of an accident within the water protection area, the alarm center should always be alerted. Call 112!

If you have seen any suspected violation of the water protection regulations, then contact  the Åland environment and health athority.

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