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Water abstraction and water use in Sweden 2015:

Water use decreases in Sweden

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2017-10-11 9.30

The total water use in Sweden in 2015 was 5 percent lower compared to the situation in 2010. The decline in water use was most significant within agriculture and the manufacturing industry.

In total, some 2,4 billion cubic meters of fresh water were used in Sweden throughout the year 2015, which is 10 percent less than in 2010 when the last survey on water use was conducted. All sectors, except Other use, contributed to the declining water use, but the decrease was most significant within agriculture which used 24 percent less water, and the manufacturing industry which reduced its consumption with 14 percent. On the other hand, the manufacturing industry increased its abstraction and use of sea water with 16 percent during the same period.

Manufacturing industry – main water user

Despite a significant drop in water use, the manufacturing industry is still the biggest water user. Roughly 61 percent of the total fresh water abstraction is used within the industry sector. The household sector accounted for 23 percent of the fresh water consumption and Other use, 13 percent. The agricultural sector uses only 3 percent of the fresh water.

Water use by user categories in 2010 and 2015
in percent
Households, fresh water 576 565 ‑2
Agriculture, fresh water 99 75 ‑24
Industry, fresh water 1 712 1 478 ‑14
Other use, fresh water 303 313 3
Industry, sea water 550 639 16
Total fresh water use 2 689 2 431 ‑10
Total water use 3 240 3 070 ‑5

Source: Statistics Sweden

Surface water most common source of water

Some 80 percent of the fresh water used in 2015 was surface water. Groundwater amounted to 13 percent and the remaining part comprised water from unknown source.

Water abstraction by type of water 1970–2015


Source: Statistics Sweden

Self-supply main source of water

In total, the main source of water is self-supply. Some 65 percent of all water is abstracted from own sources, mostly within industry. However, as for drinking water for household consumption, the situation is reverse. Approximately 86 percent of the water consumed by households is provided via public water networks.


This report is published in more detail in the report Water Use in Sweden 2015.

Statistical Database

More information is available in the Statistical Database

Feel free to use the facts from this statistical news but remember to state Source: Statistics Sweden.

Statistical agency and producer

Statistics Sweden, Environmental accounts and Environment

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Jerker Moström

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