Skip to main content
RISE logo
Water tap

Value of water supply

Drinking water supply is a socially critical function and a prerequisite for both public health and economic growth. The drinking water system is exposed to threats and challenges that affect delivery security. Many companies are dependent on water and an interruption in water supply can cause major problems, which has been quantified in this study

During 2019-2020, RISE together with VTI conducted a survey to map how Swedish companies are affected financially in the event of an interruption in the water supply. The aim of the study was to contribute to a better planning and investment basis for water producers, water-dependent businesses and authorities, as well as to increase knowledge and awareness of the consequences of a water outage.

The survey gathered data from 1405 companies throughout Sweden. To find out how companies are financially affected by various length of water outages, we asked them to state what proportion of their value added they could maintain in the event of interruptions lasting 2 hours, 4 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, 1 week and 1 month.

Results

Figures 1 and 2 show how the value added of companies in the various industries decreases the longer the interruption lasts. 100% value added here means normal operations and at time 0 there is an interruption in ordinary water supply. It is average values ​​per industry that are shown in the figure and as you can see, the hotel and restaurant industry is affected very hard and in the manufacturing industry, the food industry and the chemical industry are affected the hardest.

Value of water
Figures 1 and 2. Sustained value added in areal industries, service sector and manufacturing industry, expressed as a percentage of the value added of normal production at different length water outages (average values per industry).

The information on how the companies are affected (loss in value added and recovery time) has then been used to produce resilience factors for each industry and interruption length. These factors can in turn be used to estimate the socio-economic costs of supply disruptions, when prioritizing risk reduction measures and as support in the dialogue between companies and water producers on emergency water planning.

The study also collected and analyzed information on, among other things, reasons why companies choose to reduce or close operations in the event of water outages, planned and implemented measures, alternative water sources and whether the company has experienced water outages in the past five years.

Final report

SVU 2021-19 (pdf, 2.86 MB)

Summary

Project name

Value of water supply

Status

Completed

RISE role in project

Projektledare och utförare

Project start

Duration

2 år

Partner

VTI

Funders

Mistra Inframaint, Svenskt Vatten Utveckling, SMHI

Project members

External press

Josefine Klingberg

Contact person

Josefine Klingberg

Projektledare

Read more about Josefine

Contact Josefine
CAPTCHA This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

* Mandatory By submitting the form, RISE will process your personal data.

Related

Expertise

Water supply and demand management

Climate variability, urbanization and ageing infrastructure add to other, ever present, challenges of water management. To ensure water resource security, policymakers and practitioners across the public and private sectors need t…
Story

Industry needs to reduce its water consumption

Many industries consume enormous quantities of water. Now however, they are facing environmental and economic challenges requiring them to lower their water consumption. RISE wants to be a partner for helping them achieve that tas…
Story

Tool helps industry save water

A new tool is now being launched to help Swedish companies get a handle on their water use and choose the right water-saving measures. The tool has been developed by experts at RISE based on the established method of energy mappin…
Story

Secured water supply for Skåne's business community

In collaboration with RISE, Region Skåne has initiated a project that aims to encourage more sustainable water use among companies in Skåne. The overarching objective is for the region's trade and industry to avoid suffering any n…
Expertise

Industrial Water Management

Through better water management many industries can not only reduce their environmental impact and meet societal demands for clean water, but also improve process performance and ultimately reduce costs. Water management is a key …
Area

Water

How much clean, drinkable water have you used today? No doubt we all regularly turn on the tap without giving it a thought. However, in many parts of the world, clean tap water is a luxury. Every year, children and adults become i…