Multifunctional water parks in Uppsala, Västerås and Smedjebacken – report on the construction phase

Authors: Martina Andersson, Susanna Hansen, Åsa Hedin, Maria Hållmarker, Gustav Myhrman.


The construction of three multifunctional water parks is part of the EU-funded project LIFE IP Rich Waters (action C10 – Multifunctional water parks), implemented between January 2017 and June 2024. Project partners in this action are Uppsala municipality, Västerås municipality, Mälarenergi AB (Västerås water and wastewater company) and WBAB (WessmanBarken Vatten & Återvinning AB) in Smedjebacken. The objective of the action is to build multifunctional water parks in each municipality and thereby improve the water quality in the recipients. The water parks are also meant to create areas for recreation and to increase biodiversity, as well as to increase knowledge and inspire others implement similar measures.

This report is mainly targeting municipalities or other stakeholders planning to implement similar projects. It summarizes the steps involved and the decisions and positions taken before and during the construction of each water park. The report also includes information on organization, budget and time frames. It gives an overview of issues that can be encountered in this type of project and the lessons learned during the process.

In each of the three municipalities, conditions at the locations and the needs for water treatment differ, and the water parks therefore have been designed in different ways, regarding size, shape and function. The permission processes have also been different for the each water park. This, and other aspectes of planning and construction, is described under each municipality (Uppsala, Västerås and Smedjebacken) in the report.

The construction of the three water parks were preceded by feasibility studies based on an already identified need for additional water purification. In some cases, the final solutions differed significantly from those proposed in the preliminary study.

The construction of the three water parks in Uppsala, Västerås and Smedjebacken is now completed (in whole or in part). The water park in Smedjebacken is still (January 2023) being finalised, while the water parks in Uppsala and Västerås are in use.

In all cases, unforeseen issues during the course of the project have affected time and budget frameworks. In all cases, the budget for building the water parks was exceeded or is expected to be exceeded and the construction has taken more time than expected.

As the focus so far primarily has been on the construction of the three water parks, the follow-up of, for example, water purification, biodiversity, socio-economic aspects and more is just in its early stages. Monitoring and evaluation results will therefore be summarized in a supplement to this report at a later stage.

Table of Contents