Flooding in southern Sweden in July

Sweden urged to prepare for climate change

Sweden needs to improve strategic measures designed to combat the effects of climate change, that’s the message from a research group set up by the Swedish government.

According to findings presented by the committee, Sweden must increase its readiness on a range of fronts to deal with the onset of more severe climatic conditions.

Risks for flooding, landslides, agricultural dams and dykes bursting, are set to increase as average temperatures here rise, bringing with them greater rainfall.

In July this year heavy rain across much of the country, especially in the south, saw rivers burst their banks, causing widepsread damage to property and agriculture, with costs running into hundreds of thousands of dollars, and resulting in the death of a woman who drowned when she became trapped in her car.

In a separate incident earlier this year, an entire section of a major road was washed away.

The report is a key document, laying down policy objectives for local and national governement.

Areas surrounding Sweden’s major lakes, the Vänern and the Göta are thought to be particularly vulnerable.

During floods in the winter of 2000, 2001, water levels in Lake Vänern rose one and a half metres.

The committee is also urging local government to consider rising water levels when planning building projects near water, and if possible avoid such plans altogether – against the wishes of some municipalities.

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