South-western Finland, which comprises the regions of Finland Proper and Satakunta, is situated by the Coast of Archipelago Sea, with a population of close to 700,000 inhabitants, and a total area of approximately 32,000 km2 of which about half is covered by land and the rest is water. There are also approximately 22,000 islands in the region. South-western Finland is divided into five sub-regions: Turku, Pori, Rauma, Uusikaupunki and Salo.
Turku is the largest city of the region and the centre of Finland Proper with approximately 181,000 inhabitants. The city is surrounded by the most beautiful archipelago and unique cultural landscapes. Turku is also the oldest city in Finland. The founding year of the city is recorded as 1229 when Finland was a part of the Swedish empire. Nowadays Turku is the sixth biggest city in Finland by its population. Turku is a bilingual city, official languages being Finnish and Swedish.
Pori was founded in 1558 in the proximity of the sea and Kokemäenjoki River. This ideal location made possible for Pori to grow into an international city of commerce and industry. Yyteri Beach serves those who want to relax and be active. Kirjurinluoto Park is a unique heart of the city next to the river providing activities for all age groups. Rich culture has always had a strong standing in Pori. Pori is one of the leading Finnish cities in happenings. In the 21st century Pori is a city of students and modern enterprises.
Rauma is a town of culture, with a rich history, fascinating museums and a diverse range of events. The town was established in 1442 and it is the 3rd oldest town in Finland. It has long traditions as a significant centre of industry and trade, where history meets the present, creating a vibrant town with a unique atmosphere. Rauma is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Old Rauma and Sammallahdenmäki, a Bronze Age burial site. Rauma has developed from a small village into a lively, friendly and modern industrial and harbour town with around 40,000 residents.
Water in Southwest Finland
The Finnish water supply is mostly made up of groundwater, of which 48% is natural groundwater, 13% artificial groundwater, and 39% surface water. In Turku region, most of the water supply is from artificial groundwater: the main utility Turku Region Water Ltd. delivers annually 23 million cubic metres of drinking water to approximately 300,000 inhabitants in the region.
Most of the region’s wastewater is treated in the central treatment plant of Kakolanmäki situated in the regional capital of Turku. This central wastewater plant collects wastewaters from almost 300,000 inhabitants as well as most of the industrial wastewater generated in the region. In 2013 approximately 83,000m³ of wastewater was treated daily of which 68% came from Turku. The sewer network consists of both combined and separate sewers. The length of the combined sewers is about 58 km and the total length of the separate rainwater sewers is about 528 km.
The region is characterised by cold climate which affects the rainfall infiltration and the variation in rain and snow during winter season. Combined to climate change, it makes the stormwater management challenging. Based on climate change predictions, winter and autumn flows will increase and water levels will rise with more rain and less snow. These can potentially cause increased winter and autumn flooding. Longer snow and frost-less periods can increase nutrient loads and erosion. Snow will also melt during the winter causing increased flows. Severe flooding caused by stormwater will increase in cities and smaller coastal water bodies during summers. Some of these risk areas are the coastal areas of the cities of Turku, Raisio and Naantali, all of them situated in the region of Southwest Finland.
Water quality fluctuates from season to season, and spring floods and heavy downpours result in peak loads. In official diffuse load monitoring the use of continuous monitoring has increased, but it has not yet replaced traditional monitoring and water sampling.
Finnish know-how in water sampling methods, strategies, organising and planning of monitoring could contribute other countries. Also the Finnish methods and solutions for data collection, summarisation and dissemination could be useful for many regions and actors. In the area there is also potential and desire to develop new solutions for diffuse load monitoring and especially miniaturised sensors.
Platform for Water Expertise in the LOURA Intercity Collaboration of Southwest Finland
A large part of the industry in South-West Finland area has risen in because of the existing water resources. Harbours, docks, nuclear power station, pulp and paper plants are examples of the industries that are dependent on the existence and availability of water. Hence, a large amount of water technology companies and expertise exists in the area. In addition, in South-West Finland, there are four universities and other research organizations where relevant research and development work is done as well as educational activities take place.
The LOURA Platform for Water Expertise is an active network of universities, companies and business development agencies from southwest coast of Finland. The purpose of the network is to bring together actors willing to find new sustainable growth from water.
The core of the platform is formed by five research organisations: University of Turku, Åbo Akademi University, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Nordic Water and Material Institute at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, and Pyhäjärvi Institute. In addition, the platform activities are supported by a number of water sector companies.
Research, Development and Innovation in the Water Sector / Link with RTD & Innovation
Water technology related research and development is done in the University of Turku, Åbo Akademi, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Turku University of Applied Sciences and in Pyhäjärvi Institute. The most important competences in water sector are e.g. drinking water, water pollution control technology and related expertise in planning and designing, high expertise analytics and sensors, water microbiology, corrosion and recycling of nutrients. In addition, the water-related ecosystem services in the region, i.e., the benefits and services provided to people by general living nature, for example the use of raw water, fishing opportunities, recreational activities.
Water Actors in the Region
- University of Turku
- Åbo Akademi University
- Turku University of Applied Sciences, Water Research Group
- Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Nordic Water and Material Institute WANDER
- Pyhäjärvi Institute
In the South-West Finland there are companies that are concentrated on water and wastewater treatment technologies like Dewaco Oy, Biolan Oy, FinnChain Oy,Clewer Oy, Water Group Oy, FlooTech Oy, BWT Separtec Oy and Metso Paper Oy
Another group is formed by companies acting in the field of water distribution systems and components like Oras Oy, Cupori Oy, Saint-Gobain Pipesystems Oy, Heikki Laiho Oy, Vexve Oy and Progman Oy.
The third important group in the water sector is comprised of analysing, measurement technology, automation and data services. Companies that can be categorized into this group are, e.g., Luode Consulting Oy, Aqsens Oy, WIC Systems Oy, Process Flow Oy, West Automation Oy Ltd., Nab Labs Oy, Eurofins Scientific Finland Oy, Lounais-Suomen vesi- ja ympäristötutkimus Oy, Kokemäenjoen vesiensuojeluyhdistys and BK-automation Ky.
Water treatment and process chemicals are also manufactured in South-West Finland by companies Nordkalk Oy, Kemira Oyj, Watergroup Oy and Chemigate Oy.
A very large sector is formed by companies that are using high amounts of water in their manufacturing processes. These companies are e.g., TVO, UPM-Kymmene Oyj (Rauma mills), MetsäFibre (Rauma mill), Corenso Oy, Ahlstrom Tampere Oy paper mill Eura, Jujo Thermal Oy paper mill Eura, Yara mill in Uusikaupunki, Raisio Yhtymä, Laitilan Wirvoitusjuomatehdas Oy as well as massive food industry existing in the area.
In addition, there are also several water works operating in the area, for example two manufacturers of artificial groundwater, i.e., Pori and Turku.
Some other companies in the region:
- AboaTox Oy, Ecotoxicity, cyanobacteria and hygiene tests.
- Aquaen Oy: Tools for water system rehabilitation and maintenance
- Alfa Laval Aalborg Oy: Energy and environment, water treatment and wastewater related technologies
- Aqua Nova Oy: Water treatment
- Centrum Balticum: Capacity building and coordination, communications
- Clewer Oy: Water treatment
- Environmental Research and Assessment EnviroCase Ltd.: Issue hosting, modeling and prognoses (aquatic, terrestrial and wetland ecosystems), data and knowledge management
- FCG Design and Engineering Ltd.: Modeling and prognoses, stormwater quality/quantity measurement
- Finnchain Oy: Water treatment, wastewater related technologies
- Flootech Oy : Water treatment, wastewater related technologies
- GWM-Engineering Oy: Rivers, lakes, ocean water quality, velocity measuring and sampling technology
- Labkotec Oy: Water treatment
- Luode Consulting Oy: Stormwater quality/quantity measurement and data management
- Masinotek Oy: Precipitation, runoff and load monitoring, stormwater quality/quantity measurement and data management
- NanoGeo Finland Oy: Wastewater related technologies
- Oripään Vesi Oy: Modelling and prognoses, Data management and Consulting seminars and events
- Process Flow Solution Ltd. Oy
- Uponor Infra Oy: Stormwater collection and management
- WIC Systems Oy: Wastewater related technologies