Integrating Ecosystem Services into Risk Assessments for Drinking Water Protection
Journal article, 2022

Water protection is a widely supported goal in society, but competing interests often complicate the implementation of water protection measures. Moreover, the benefits of protection efforts are typically underestimated as risk assessments focus on the provision of drinking water and neglect the additional services provided by a clean drinking water source. We developed a list of water system services (WSS) that allows assessment of all biotic and abiotic services provided by a drinking water source. The WSS were derived from the Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CICES). The objectives of this paper are to (i) introduce the concept of WSS, (ii) describe a procedure on how to develop a region-specific list of WSS and present a list of WSS specifically tailored to Sweden, (iii) present how to integrate WSS into a risk assessment for drinking water, and (iv) illustrate a practical application on a Swedish case study. The results, presented as an assessment matrix, show the provided services and contrast the hazard sources with their impact on all services. The WSS assessment can be used to communicate and negotiate the extent of water protection measures with relevant stakeholders and illustrate synergies and trade-offs of protective measures beyond drinking water protection.

water system services

source water protection

risk assessment

water protection

ecosystem services

drinking water

water safety plan


Nadine Gärtner


Andreas Lindhe


Julia Wahtra

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)

Tore Söderqvist

Holmboe & Skarp AB

Lars-Ove Lång

Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU)

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Geology and Geotechnics

Henrik Nordell

Sweden Connectivity AB

Jenny Norrman


Lars Rosen


Water (Switzerland)

2073-4441 (ISSN) 20734441 (eISSN)

Vol. 14 8 1180

Risk-based prioritization of water protection in sustainable spatial planning (WaterPlan)

Formas (2018-00202), 2018-01-01 -- 2022-09-30.

Subject Categories

Water Engineering

Environmental Management

Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources

Environmental Sciences



More information

Latest update

5/5/2022 1