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Councils spend millions on creating snow

Östersund official: The challenge is that it is getting warmer and warmer
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Man with snow cannon
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Credit: Fredrik Vestberg/Sveriges Radio
Snow cannon
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Roger Hedlund is in charge of the snow supply at the Östersund ski stadium. Credit: Fredrik Vestberg/Sveriges Radio
Snow cannons
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Snow cannons in action at the Östersund ski stadium. Credit: Fredrik Vestberg/Sveriges Radio

Sweden is having another winter without much of the white stuff, but local councils are taking the matter in their own hands. Over the past five years they have paid over SEK 200 million to create snow for local ski tracks and slopes.

One in three local councils in Sweden today owns snow cannons, according to a survey carried out by Swedish Radio P4 Jämtland. The survey found that over the past five years, local councils have spent over SEK 200 million to create snow.

Östersund in northern Sweden is one of the councils that has invested most of the tax payers' money on this. Over the past few years, the council has bought snow cannons for over SEK 8 million, and set up a special storage place where it is hoped that some 60,000 cubic metres of snow can be kept over the summer.

"The snow storage is a direct consequence of climate change," writes Östersund council in a statement, "as we otherwise would not be able to manage to have snow for the pre-season training at the beginning of November and to the premiere of the Biathlon World Cup in November/December."

The survey includes answers from 255 out of Sweden's 290 local councils.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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