Water protection programmes and strategies

Riku Lumiaro, Image Bank of the Environmental Administration

A number of national and regional programmes and strategies have been implemented in order to improve water protection and achieve high water quality.

National water protection policy outlines up to 2015

The Government's resolution on guidelines for water protection lays down national objectives for the protection
of waters. It also defines measures which will restore the good condition of inland waters, coastal waters and groundwater by 2015. The goal is to

  • reduce environmental load which causes eutrophication
  • reduce risks caused by hazardous substances
  • protect groundwater
  • conserve the diversity of water ecosystems
  • restore bodies of water.

Regional water resource management plans and programmes

The Finnish government has approved seven regional river basin management plans.  These plans and the related action plans include information on the condition of water bodies, the factors affecting them and measures which will restore inland and coastal waters in these regions to good condition by 2015.
The implementation of the river basin management plans was assessed for the first time in late 2012.

Each river basin management plan is revised every six years. Plans for the period up to 2021 are under preparation.

National Programme for Implementation of River Basin Management Plans

The implementation of the river basin management plans is supported by the Programme for Implementation of River Basin Management Plans.

The programme pays special attention to national-level instruments and measures for improving the condition of waters and enhancing water management. The programme also defines the responsible parties in closer detail.

Recommendation agreement on municipal wastewater treatment

Wastewater treatment plants are encouraged to improve the treatment of municipal wastewater, voluntarily, to a higher standard than that required under their environmental permits. In January 2012, the Ministry of the Environment, the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities and the Finnish Water Utilities Association signed a recommendatory agreement on the reduction of emissions causing eutrophication. This agreement is the first national water protection agreement to be based on voluntary action.

Further information

Antton Keto, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 50 431 9289, firstname.lastname@ym.fi

Ari Kangas, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 400 143 910, firstname.lastname@ym.fi

Published 2013-07-30 at 13:05, updated 2016-10-11 at 9:51