Annual report: Our wells 2022 (Sweden)

Summary of an eventful “well year”, current situation and forecast. Happy New Year 2023!

Water update from Aqvify – with data from connected wells!

Here is a summary of the groundwater situation in 2022, the current situation and the forecast for the future, as well as an interview with one of the customers who have been helped by Aqvify during the year.

Aqvify now measures wells in holiday homes, permanent residences, water communities, vegetable gardens and on livestock farms.

It’s been an eventful year! Some examples:

  • The launch of Grundvattenkollen.se, which shows the daily groundwater levels of selected wells in different areas, was very much appreciated by many.

  • Exciting cooperation with the Gotland Water Academy, which is working to create a network of well owners who can work together to monitor the groundwater level and protect the water in the wells on the island.

  • Presentation of Aqvify’s lessons learned from connected wells at SGU’s Groundwater Days and discussions with great hydrogeologists from e.g. University of Gothenburg and SGU about wells in use.

  • And a lot of new lovely users of course!

Groundwater 2022 in general

This year also presented challenges for water supply – you may remember, for example, reports of the worst drought ever in France (which is unfortunately still ongoing) and the River Rehn, which was barely navigable in August due to low water levels.

In Sweden, the situation was not as bad as the notorious 2018, but still serious at times in many places. We have reported on this in previous newsletters.

My year with Aqvify

Johan and Lennart are permanent neighbours in Åkersberga outside Stockholm. The two households share Johan’s well.

– We have enjoyed Aqvify tremendously! On two occasions, Aqvify has saved the supply of our drinking water.

Here’s how Johan tells it:

In mid-December, we received an SMS alert from Aqvify about low water level in the well. In the Aqvify app we could see that the water level dropped from 10 m level to 20 m in a few hours and remained there. At the same time we could see in the app that our own consumption was zero and yet the level was low.

After a tip from Aqvify’s support team to investigate the nearby wells, we headed out to the neighbouring houses – and it wasn’t long before we saw water running from the outside wall of a nearby holiday home! A pipe had frozen and so the pump in their well was running continuously.

After the pump was switched off, the groundwater level recovered in a week and thankfully without saltwater intrusion into the well. The neighbour was also very grateful for both the saved well and the fact that the pump didn’t break down – she won’t be out until spring!

A couple of weeks later it happened again… I saw in the app that our pump started much more often than usual and also during the night. Lennart was away. When I turned off the outgoing water to his house, the pump stopped. It turned out that a toilet had broken and was therefore leaking.

– Everyone should have Aqvify installed to keep track of their well. Not least my neighbours, say Johan with a laugh.

Aqvify and SGU groundwater levels

Farms, water boards and private well owners measure the water level with Aqvify and can monitor the level, inflow and approximate consumption over time. The groundwater level of the unique well is given as the highest daily standing level.

Aqvify: Groundwater level 2022 in a selection of wells (click to enlarge)

Read about record wells below to get an idea of how incredibly different different wells can be affected by drought! That’s why it’s important to get to know your own well in order to use it sustainably, efficiently and safely.

The graph shows the groundwater level for a selection of wells with Aqvify + SGU’s monitoring well on Ingarö. SGU has more monitoring wells if you want to compare with one closer to you – but keep in mind that these are wells without water withdrawal, which can be very different from a well in use.

2022 shows generally even lower groundwater levels than those we saw in 2021. After a rainy February, many places were completely without precipitation in March. April and June then provided a bit of a boost to groundwater levels, only to bottom out in September as many areas of the country experienced water shortages.

During the year, we have been updating in newsletters about the groundwater situation in the country.
Please sign up at the bottom of the page!

Click on the graph to enlarge it!

Influence of the weather

SMHI’s summary of 2022 starts like this:

“2022 has been a hot year throughout Sweden. Perhaps most memorable is the heat of 21 July, when Målilla in eastern Småland recorded the highest temperature in Sweden in 75 years at 37.2°. With the exception of the Norrland mountains, it has also been dry or very dry. The drought has been most pronounced in south-eastern Sweden. For example, the northern tip of Öland has not had such a dry year since 1921. It has also been a very sunny year, in several parts of Götaland even a record sunny year.”

Climate change will affect water availability more and more. Warmer climates mean longer periods for plants to absorb water, and more evaporation. Extreme weather means that rainfall is less frequent, but increasingly in the form of torrential downpours…the dry ground does not have time to soak up the rain (compare with a dry Wettex).

Current situation and forecast

SGU’s Groundwater Situation and Aqvify’s connected wells show a mixed picture going forward. SGU’s maps show areas with seasonally Normal, Below Normal and in some parts Much Below Normal groundwater levels. Among the Aqvify wells, most seem to have recovered from the dry autumn, but some still have some way to go to reach the same levels as a year ago. Check GroundwaterCollection.com for updated levels!

The amount of precipitation during winter and spring, the time when the soil absorbs most of the water, will be important for the summer of 2023.

SGU Groundwater situation – current situation and 60-day probos. (click to enlarge)

Some record wells in 2022!

…for those of us who love wells…

How much has your well been affected?

In the Aqvify app, go to Analysis and select 30 or 365 days in the time selector.

Sustainable well use

Do you also want to be able to use your well sustainably, efficiently and safely, with detailed and easily accessible information from Aqvify?