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Open AccessArticle

Severe Drought in Finland: Modeling Effects on Water Resources and Assessing Climate Change Impacts

1
Finnish Environment Institute, Latokartanonkaari 11, FI-00790 Helsinki, Finland
2
Department of Built Environment, Aalto University, 02015 Espoo, Finland
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aalto University, 02015 Espoo, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2450; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082450
Received: 4 March 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
Severe droughts cause substantial damage to different socio-economic sectors, and even Finland, which has abundant water resources, is not immune to their impacts. To assess the implications of a severe drought in Finland, we carried out a national scale drought impact analysis. Firstly, we simulated water levels and discharges during the severe drought of 1939–1942 (the reference drought) in present-day Finland with a hydrological model. Secondly, we estimated how climate change would alter droughts. Thirdly, we assessed the impact of drought on key water use sectors, with a focus on hydropower and water supply. The results indicate that the long-lasting reference drought caused the discharges to decrease at most by 80% compared to the average annual minimum discharges. The water levels generally fell to the lowest levels in the largest lakes in Central and South-Eastern Finland. Climate change scenarios project on average a small decrease in the lowest water levels during droughts. Severe drought would have a significant impact on water-related sectors, reducing water supply and hydropower production. In this way drought is a risk multiplier for the water–energy–food security nexus. We suggest that the resilience to droughts could be improved with region-specific drought management plans and by including droughts in existing regional preparedness exercises. View Full-Text
Keywords: drought; hydrological modeling; water security; climate change; groundwater; water–energy–food security nexus; preparedness; Finland drought; hydrological modeling; water security; climate change; groundwater; water–energy–food security nexus; preparedness; Finland
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MDPI and ACS Style

Veijalainen, N.; Ahopelto, L.; Marttunen, M.; Jääskeläinen, J.; Britschgi, R.; Orvomaa, M.; Belinskij, A.; Keskinen, M. Severe Drought in Finland: Modeling Effects on Water Resources and Assessing Climate Change Impacts. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2450. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082450

AMA Style

Veijalainen N, Ahopelto L, Marttunen M, Jääskeläinen J, Britschgi R, Orvomaa M, Belinskij A, Keskinen M. Severe Drought in Finland: Modeling Effects on Water Resources and Assessing Climate Change Impacts. Sustainability. 2019; 11(8):2450. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082450

Chicago/Turabian Style

Veijalainen, Noora; Ahopelto, Lauri; Marttunen, Mika; Jääskeläinen, Jaakko; Britschgi, Ritva; Orvomaa, Mirjam; Belinskij, Antti; Keskinen, Marko. 2019. "Severe Drought in Finland: Modeling Effects on Water Resources and Assessing Climate Change Impacts" Sustainability 11, no. 8: 2450. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082450

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