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Assessing the Stockholm Water and Sewage System: Sustainability and Resilience in a Long-term Perspective
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms).
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This report presents a case study on the Water and Sewage (abbreviated as WS in the following) system of Stockholm, which is faced with several challenges over the coming decades. The purpose is to explore the current and future threats and challenges that can have an impact on the WS system, with the aim of identifying a sustainable and resilient way of handling potential issues and incorporating a wider perspective when planning for a continued water and sewage infrastructure of sufficient capacity and quality. The study asks what the current and potential future challenges for the Stockholm WS system are, what is required to enable a sustainable and resilient WS system in a long-term perspective, which actors are involved or need to be involved beyond Stockholm Water, to provide Stockholm with a resilient and sustainable WS system, and what would be required for efficient governance?

A content analysis of literature was made in order to develop three possible future scenarios, each with its own set of challenges. The scenarios were discussed with several interviewees from the WS-sector. The information provided during the interviews was used in a resilience analysis, based on the framework developed by the Resilience Alliance Workbook for Practitioners. A discussion follows in relation to the connected theoretical concepts of futures studies, resilience theory, governance and sustainability.

The findings in this study suggests that the main challenges facing the WS system are primarily climate change and population increase. The WS system has to expand to support a growing population, as well as be adapted to cope with the consequences of climate change. Also pulse disturbances, such as sabotage and bio-terrorist attacks, were discussed and constitute a worry to which there is less preparedness. Further, a different challenge was found in the difficulties in planning for this required expansion and development where there is a lack of support, funding, communication and division of responsibilities.

In order to retain a WS system that is able to provide high quality water services of sufficient quantity, communication and coordination between actors need to improve, and someone has to take a lead in continued work to ensure that all actors and stakeholders move in the same direction. Long-term planning is required on all parts, and there is a need to make decisions that will enable a sustained water and sewage structure in the long run. It is also required that water is made a priority; that water and sewage related issues are allowed more space in the municipal planning process and are discussed at a much earlier stage. Further, all municipalities will face challenges that concerns the WS system, leading to an increasing requirement of a more extensive regional cooperation, where planning and development occurs across municipal borders, focusing on watershed- and drainage areas.

This study focuses on specified resilience, which means that only a limited number of challenges and events that could affect the WS system have been studied. Further studies are encouraged to determine the general resilience of the system, and provide a more detailed and comprehensive assessment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 64 p.
Keyword [en]
resilience, water and sewage systems, climate change, sustainable development, futures studies, planning
Keyword [sv]
resiliens, vatten- och avloppssystem, klimatförändringar, hållbar utveckling, framtidsstudier, samhällsplanering
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-188587OAI: diva2:938054
Subject / course
Environmental Strategies
Educational program
Degree of Master - Sustainable Urban Planning and Design
Available from: 2016-08-17 Created: 2016-06-15 Last updated: 2016-08-17Bibliographically approved

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