Surface waters and groundwaters

The objective of water protection is to achieve good surface water and groundwater status by 2015, and to prevent the deterioration of good-quality water bodies.  Bodies of water must be protected from damage caused by polluting and harmful substances, and hydrological engineering. Finland must also anticipate climate change by reducing the harm caused by floods or drought. Water ecosystems must also be protected.

River basin management plans approved by the Government, and the action plans they include, describe the measures required to achieve good water quality.

Järvimaisema
Riku Lumiaro, Image Bank of the Environmental Administration

The Government Programme (2011) seeks to ensure that river basin management plans are implemented.  Means of achieving this include reforming agri-environmental subsidies, developing better ways to protect the environment in forestry and peat production, launching river basin rehabilitation projects and promoting the restoration of rivers from the viewpoint of the fishing industry and natural livelihoods.  The Government is enhancing the protection of groundwater, by promoting the preparation of protection plans. Municipal wastewater treatment is improved for example by reducing the euthrophication impact of nitrogen emissions, particularly in coastal areas. Wastewater emissions from scattered settlements are reduced by ensuring sufficient resources for advisory services.

The European Union has published a Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources. It emphasises the need for better implementation of legislation and measures related to climate adaptation and better water efficiency.  The regulation of harmful substances will be developed in order to reduce their impact on water bodies.

Tasks of the Ministry of the Environment

The Ministry of the Environment prepares national objectives for water protection, develops water protection legislation and other steering methods in order to reduce negative impacts on water bodies. It also assesses the development of the condition of water bodies and factors affecting this. The ministry is also in charge of international water protection cooperation.

The Ministry of the Environment steers the organisation of water protection, together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. As part of the Government, the Ministry of the Environment approves water resources management plans and assesses their implementation. 

Published 2014-12-30 at 9:24, updated 2014-12-30 at 9:23