Impact on water resources and water protection

Water is a crucial resource for Vattenfall's operations. Water usage and the impact on water are one of the focus areas where Vattenfall strives to improve efficient usage and minimizing its impact. 

In combustion power plants and nuclear power plants water is necessary for operating the facilities. And in hydro power, water is the power source. Water protection is crucial throughout our operations.

Our water use and impact

Most of the Vattenfall's water use is linked to cooling purposes. The largest quantity of water is taken from the sea and rivers and then returned.

Quick facts:

  • The largest amount of cooling water is used in our nuclear power plants in Sweden and to a smaller extent in our Dutch heat and power.

Water use in hydro power

In hydro power water is at core. Water is the resource and it is also the location of the operation. The construction of hydropower dams has a significant impact on the water flow of the rivers where they are built and on animal and plant life in the river. The construction affects the hydro morphology of rivers.

Water protection

Water protection has been a priority for the general public, governments and our company for many years. Several of our power plants and electricity network transformers are located close to important water areas, which make it necessary for us to have a high level of preparedness and to take preventive actions.

Some examples of our approach:

  • We take a water balance perspective for our management of water use, considering impacts of water withdrawal as well as discharge.
  • We conduct thorough analysis to assess possibilities to increase efficiency of water use.
  • Water parameters from discharges of cooling water are monitored and kept within specific limits for each respective plant.
  • All wastewater generated in our operations is delivered directly to municipal sewage treatment plants or cleaned on-site before being discharged to water bodies.
  • Within hydro power we work actively to reduce environmental risks by reducing the amounts of mineral oil used in the hydro power plant fleet.
  • We are striving to reduce the impact connected to large reservoirs and rivers in Sweden through our a Hydropower-Biodiversity programme.
Last updated: 2016-10-03 08:26