Water and Blue Economy

Water is essential to the lifestyle of the regions of Småland Blekinge Halland. With three unique coastlines with diverse marine environments comprising fresh, brackish, and salty waters, archipelagos, as well as thousands of lakes of varying sizes and rivers, Småland Blekinge Halland has a broad knowledge of issues related to water and marine environments.

Issues connected to water and marine environments are getting increasingly important on the European agenda. On the one hand, climate change, pollution and environmental degradation, constitutes major challenges in terms of access to and availability of clean water. And on the other hand, there is significant economic potential in marine environments connected to sustainable energy, mobility, and foodstuff. It is however essential that the blue economy potential is harnessed in a sustainable and gentle way for the surrounding ecosystems and nature.

The regions of Småland Blekinge Halland have many similar challenges connected to water and water management. Three out of five regions have long ocean coastlines, all five regions have hundreds of lakes each, but are still to an increasing extent experiencing problems with drought. Through their geographical location and maritme culture and economy, the regions of Småland Blekinge Halland host several private and public actors with excellence and strengths within the blue economy. Småland Blekinge Halland stand ready to sail out and dive deep in the pursue of like-minded partners that wants to grow together, and find new solutions to common challenges.

Leading the way forward

In Småland Blekinge Halland, you find innovative examples and leading innovation environments:

  • Linnaeus university: The university carry out education and research within a broad scientific field and has a long tradition of cooperating with both industry and society.
    • The research that is carried out at the Linnaeus University Centre for Ecology and Evolution in Microbial model Systems (EEMiS) is focused on marine environments in the Baltic Sea – on the border between sea and land, in coastal waters and in the open sea. The Baltic Sea is a vulnerable environment which is strongly affected by human activities in the surrounding countries. With research expertise covering the entire Baltic Sea food chain from the smallest microorganisms to fish and birds, the Linnaeus University’s largest research centre, Linnaeus University Centre (Lnuc) for Ecology and Evolution in Microbial model Systems (EEMiS), forms a cutting-edge in the research for a healthier sea.
    • The research at Linnaeus University in the field of maritime science deals with how to reach an environmentally sustainable and safe shipping with a good working environment. We analyse the conditions of the international shipping, the daily activities and the consequences for the environment and peoples’ health. The activities on board a vessel is a core interest, especially the interplay between people and between people and technology. At the Kalmar Maritime Academy, the research of working life, organisation, communication, maritime safety, risk management, energy efficiency and the environmental effect of shipping uses theories and methods from other fields of subject in social, natural and technical science.
  • WaterMan promotes the reuse of water in the Baltic Sea Region. Thus, it adds a new element to water management that can make water supply more climate resilient. The key actors for water reuse are local authorities and water companies, for most of which the topic is still a novelty. WaterMan will supply them with knowledge and tools to develop strategic approaches and to implement concrete measures that bring water reuse into practice. The capacity building process involves a transnational peer learning process. Municipalities and water companies from 6 countries will, assisted by R&D institutions / domain experts, co-create: (1) Exemplary water reuse strategies for selected model regions that combine measures for (a) reuse of treated water (b) recirculation of retained water (c) promoting stakeholder & consumer acceptance for water reuse. (2) A set of complementary pilot measures for water reuse that depict typical use cases, and that adapt, test and validate concrete solutions for utilisation in the BSR. The results are processed into a “BSR Water Reuse Toolbox”. It gives other local authorities & water companies concrete guidance on how to foster water reuse and is pro-actively & widely disseminated to them. Geographically, WaterMan focusses on the southern parts of the BSR (southeast SE, DK, DE, PL, LT, LV, EE). This concentration on a homogenous geology & landscape type will make peer learning and knowledge transfer more effective. Learn more about WaterMan here.
  • LIFE SURE is a project by the City of Kalmar and Linnaeus University, co-financed by the EU LIFE Programme and the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (HaV). The main concept of LIFE SURE is to work within the circular economy approach in a way that dredged sediments should be viewed as a resource, not waste and. The LIFE SURE project has as main objective to test and demonstrate an innovative and cost-effective dredging system that minimizes the adverse effects on habitat loss, hydraulic entrainment, the release of contaminants, sedimentation, suspended sediment and underwater noise on the lake and surrounding area. Additionally, an evaluation of dredging effectiveness to be practically and economically feasible is required.
  • Bolmen Research station is located on Tiraholm by Bolmen in Hylte municipality. The focus of the research is primarily environmental monitoring, fisheries and fisheries management, projects for water management and the effects of climate change on the ecosystems in the lake. The station is part of a national network of field stations, SITES, and is open to all universities and colleges that want to do research on Bolmen. Bolmen’s research station, including the AquaNet infrastructure, is available to SITES researchers. An interesting fact for SITES researchers is that Bolmen is used as a drinking water source and the connection between water quality and the impact on almost 1 million citizens can be studied. No other lake that is part of the SITES network is used so directly by so many people. But Bolmen is also an important fishing lake with many active recreational fishermen as well as several professional fishermen. Their concrete feedback to seawater quality and ecology can also provide new insights into the research.

Cooperate with us

We are open to all sorts of collaboration – knowledge sharing to cooperation projects. Contact EU Policy Officer Martin Broberg if you want to know more about forest and forest-based industry in Småland Blekinge Halland or to get in contact with initiatives and organisations in our regions.