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Environment and History

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Environment and History

The Sink as a Source: Safeguarding the Raw Water Source of Gothenburg, Sweden, 1860-1980

Klas Rönnbäck

Environment and History 23 (2017): 97-122. doi: 10.3197/096734017X14809635325674

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The paper studies the case of water pollution in Sweden, and how the city of Gothenburg had to struggle with this issue in order to secure a source of fresh water to satisfy its demand for drinking water. It is argued in the paper that the city employed a wide variety of strategies, ranging from water treatment to acquiring property rights over the watershed that provides its water. Most importantly, the city was interested in reducing the levels of pollution in the river, and consequently became a key stakeholder in the enforcement and implementation of effective environmental legislation.

KEYWORDS: Fresh water, pollution, Sweden, environmental legislation

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