Groundwater

Groundwater levels will be affected by any future change in precipitation and temperature. An increase in precipitation could lead to an increase in groundwater levels by up to several tens of centimetres. However, groundwater levels are expected to decrease in the south-eastern parts of Sweden.

The timing for the peak of groundwater recharge varies throughout the country. Groundwater recharge is expected to increase during the winter months, mainly in southern Sweden, due to heavy rainfalls caused by higher temperatures.

The water table fluctuates between seasons and is lower during the summer. The time period for the reduced water table during summertime may be extended because of earlier snow melt, higher temperatures and longer summers. This can cause problems for domestic water supplies. However, the water table will likely remain unchanged over the last few months of the year.

Climate change affects groundwater chemistry

Climate change can also lead to changes in land use, cultivation of new crops, longer growing seasons and increased use of fertilizers and pesticides which could affect groundwater quality.

Increased precipitation may also result in more frequent and larger floods and higher levels of surface water. An increased inflow of surface water into aquifers can affect the quality of the groundwater.

Both higher and lower groundwater levels can affect the groundwater quality. Contaminants will increase with a lower groundwater level, while higher groundwater levels lead to reduced levels of contaminants.

Coastal aquifers will be affected due to the sea level rise, with a higher risk of salt water intrusion in domestic wells.