WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE?
The water supply and sewage treatment systems of Swedish towns and cities provide drinking water in sufficient amounts, dispose of sewage in a hygienically acceptable manner, and take care of storm water to prevent flooding. They fulfil these three basic requirements without damaging the environment, but they do not satisfy the requirement for being ecologically sustainable. Future water supply and sewage treatment systems must be able to recirculate plant nutrients and function to a greater extent with the help of the active participation of the users (the general public). The systems are to be easy to understand, so that users can take greater responsibility to prevent the input of harmful substances, and they are to function well, be robust and adapted to local conditions.
HOW CAN THE PROGRAMME CONTRIBUTE TO A SOLUTION?
How should water supply and sewage treatment systems in urban areas be designed and run in the “sustainable Sweden” of the future? Do the present systems contain such basic shortfalls that we must change over to other systems? Under what circumstances must the systems be changed? What criteria should be used? In those cases where existing systems are kept – how should they be developed to become sustainable? When existing systems must be replaced by new ones – how should the latter be designed and run in order to be sustainable? The main aim of the programme is to provide answers to these questions and all the sub-projects on socio-economics, technology, hygiene, and risk evaluation feed in their results into the programme’s central systems analysis project (systems analysis is the tool used to answer the questions).
WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THE RESULTS?
Central, regional and local authorities and enterprises responsible for building and infrastructure issues, including water supply and sewage treatment. The construction industry.