Water flowing in a tunnel in a water treatment plant.

To succeed in a constantly changing world, you have to change as well. Finland has reinvented itself in just one short century – and we’re still at it. Our national character and Northern heritage have boosted us to the top of all kinds of country rankings from clean air to water expertise.

The water supply system in Finland is robust, reliable and cost-effective. It functions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week even when there is a power cut. The water system is so good that even Finns take it for granted.


Finland’s water sector always ranks high in international comparisons. Finland is special because you can swim and fish in any of the 647 rivers and 187,888 lakes. You can drink water directly from the tap anywhere. All of Finland has access to improved water sources and sanitation.

In most countries in the world water supply, including water source protection, is mainly the government’s responsibility, while in Finland since the early 1900’s that responsibility is shared. Water supply has been developed by cooperation between a variety of private and municipal organizations. Individual patrons or “champions”, non-profit and non-governmental organizations have made a significant contribution to the development of the sector. Consumers in Finland have always paid the major portion of capital costs, and in earlier times, contributed much of the labor and materials.

A close-up of a water tap in a restaurant with a person filling their glass from it.
Photo credit: HSY / Jenni-Justiina Niemi


Finland is noted for its good regulation and operation, as well as robust and reliable technology

Strength of the Finnish water sector

  • Versatile and international water know-how, world-class excellence
  • Appropriate sector legislation and effective administration
  • Good cooperation with other sectors and NGOs
  • Long tradition of consumer initiative
A graphic illustrating factors needed for quality water.

Finnish water sector strengths include:

  • Water efficiency, energy and material efficiency
    • Recycling water and removing nutrients
  • Smart Water – water and ICT
    • Monitoring and measuring, sensor technology
    • Hydrometeorological services
    • Modelling and process optimisation
    • Real time system management, wireless data transfer
  • Municipal water and wastewater treatment
    • Design, automation
    • Biological and chemical nutrient removal
    • Network management
  • Industrial water and wastewater treatment
    • Food industry, mining, forestry, pulp and paper, oil, textile and steel industry
    • Solutions for water quality/water flow monitoring and control


Finnish companies in the water sector currently have a turnover of around 5 billion euros a year, which is about one-fifth of Finnish cleantech total sales. The annual growth is 5–10 per cent and the water sector employs 6,000–10,000 people.

Water is the world’s fastest-growing business. In 2010, it was estimated to be 450 billion euros (incl. capital expenditure and operational costs, as well as the bottled water and irrigation market) and to grow to 800 billion euros by 2030.

A man with goggles intently watching beakers with brown liquid in them.
Photo credit: Riitta Supperi / Keksi / Team Finland


The largest Finnish companies in the water sector are: Kemira, Onninen, Oras, Outotec, Ramboll, Uponor, Vaisala and Valmet. They are multi-sectoral companies. There are also hundreds of leading companies in their own fields:

  • Econet, Flootech and Water Group which are contractors and multiservice companies
  • EHP-Tekniikka and Luode which specialise in water quality monitoring
  • FCG, Pöyry and Ramboll which are consulting companies
  • Dewaco, Finnchain, Slamex and Rictor which supply technology for water treatment
A big hallway in a water treatment plant.
Photo credit: HSY


Finland’s water expertise is world class

Nature and sustainable development

The water supply system in Finland is robust, reliable and cost-effective. It functions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week even when there is a power cut. The water system is so good that even Finns take it for granted.

This presentation offers some basic information on Finland’s water expertise.