Managing Water and Wastewater Services in Finland, 1860–2020 and beyond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Water and wastewater services are invaluable for communities. The aim of this article is to understand and explain the overall long-term development of water services in Finland in the wider PESTEL framework with policy implications for the future. The original megastudy was based on an extensive literature review. The article first covers the birth and development of urban and rural water systems in Finland. This is followed by analysing selected decisions with long-term impacts, institutional issues, discussion and lessons learnt, and conclusions. The development of water services in Finland has largely been based on trust. In socio-institutional factors, institutional diversity is fundamental. Gradual expansion of water supply and wastewater systems has brought technical, economic and social benefits in a country with quite a dispersed population. Efficient water pollution control in communities was implemented within two decades through developing technology and applying proper legislation and control. Continuous and dynamic development
has been a key principle. Nature-based solutions include raw water source selection, treatment processes such as managed aquifer recharge, sites for final effluents disposal, and water related land use planning. Aging infrastructure is the most pressing future challenge in Finland and worldwide and will need new requirements and innovations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590–613
Number of pages24
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • history water supply
  • futures
  • pollution control
  • management
  • governance
  • institutional diversity

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 0


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