Global trends including population growth, urbanisation and climate change are increasingly putting scarce water resources under pressure, and better water services are urgently needed around the world. An expanding network of firms and organisations within the Finnish water sector aims to help meet this demand.
One region where Finnish experts have already been working is the Mekong River Basin in Southeast Asia. Finnish experts have widely contributed to the work of the international Mekong River Commission promoting sustainable water management through the region.
Water and development specialists from Aalto University and their local partners have been building a better understanding of the unique flood pulse system of Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake, which is crucial for local livelihoods and food security. Important considerations include the possible impacts on the lake of climate change and hydropower developments.
The Finnish Water Forum does not set up projects itself, but aims to facilitate the fruitful formation of consortiums and public private partnerships, and to serve as a point of access for potential clients from around the world.
“Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs [full disclosure: thisisFINLAND is produced by the Ministry] finances development cooperation projects related to water resources and water services in various regions, and our members can form consortiums and compete with international bidders for involvement in such schemes,” explains Mehtonen.
“But we’re also building contacts with various international financial institutions who fund water projects in developing countries, aiming to match up our technology providers with suitable financing wherever Finnish actors can together make a valuable contribution.”
The Finnish Water Forum also operates under the wider Cleantech Finland brand, which has been set up to promote Finnish expertise in all kinds of environmental technologies.