The risk of drought in the Norrström drainage basin, Sweden, increased during the 20th century, a new study has found. The drainage basin is large, 22 650 km², and includes two of Sweden’s largest lakes, Lake Mälaren and Lake Hjälmaren. The region as a whole is the most densely populated region in the country. It has undergone rapid urbanization and industrialization and some land sites around Lake Hjälmaren and Lake Mälaren are contaminated.

As the frequency of the dry periods increased, less water was available in the landscape for agriculture and for the resupply of groundwater — despite an increase in precipitation in the area over the same period. The researchers reached this conclusion after screening soil moisture conditions in the basin over the course of the century.

Read the whole article in the European Commission newspaper - Science for Environmental Policy

Norrström dranage basin