Indikatorer för hållbar utveckling av urbana VA-system? Fältstudie Stockholm Vatten AB
Rapport, 2006

This study forms part of a PhD project on sustainable development indicators (SDIs) for urban water system. The project is in its second phase (post licentiate) and focused on a better understanding of the preconditions for meaningful application of SDIs within water utilities. The study presented here is the third and final in a series of field studies performed to investigate these preconditions. The study is based on documents and on interviews with nine employeees, two board politicians and one owner representatives of the Stockholm Water Company (SWC). The interviews were performed in late October – early November 2005. Interviews and documents were analysed and, when necessary, complemented, during the following winter. Documents as well as interviews showed that there is a high ambition within the SWC to develop the activities of the company towards increased sustainability. When asked what a future sustainable urban water system will look like, the most widely held opinion among the interviewees was that it’ll be an improved and refined version of todays’ system. Management of chemicals and nutrients in wastewater were mentioned as the areas most in need of improvement. The occurrence of harmful chemicals should be minimized, in the first place through information to customers and producers, and in the second place through efficient wastewater treatment methods. Nutrients should be recycled to a greater extent than they are today, which could be achieved in various ways tecnically. The SWC has applied indicators for management by objectives, follow-up, bencmarking and external communication for about ten years. Since three years back, there is also an environmental and quality management system in place, integrating economy, environment and quality, into which the indicators are to be assimilated in the long run. Many of the existing indicators cover various aspects of sustainable development and are connecetd to sustainability objectives. They can hence be regarded as SDIs, although at SWC that term is not normally used. Most of the interviewees regarded the application of SDIs as positive, although it must not be too timeconsuming. Suggestions on how to improve SDI application at SWC included their employment in planning and control to a greater extent than today, and their refinement as tools for external communication.

field study

urban water systems

sustainable development indicators


Ulrika Palme

Chalmers, Göteborgs miljövetenskapliga centrum (GMV)

Chalmers, Energi och miljö, Environmental Systems Analysis



Studier av offentlig förvaltning

Oceanografi, hydrologi, vattenresurser

Report / Division of Environmental Systems Analysis, Chalmers University of Technology: 2006:20

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