Vombsjön - in the middle of Storkriket and a water resource for people for 12,000 years

Vombsjön is designated as nationally valuable water and is the source of drinking water for seven municipalities in southwestern Scania. Vombsjön was formed at the end of the ice sheet by a huge block of ice that refused to melt, a so-called dead ice lake. People settled early on the shores of the lake and the oldest finds are tools of elk and reindeer antlers that are 11-12,000 years old. Fishing in Lake Vombsjön has always been an important resource and nowadays it is also a popular bathing lake, especially for families because it is so shallow. There are beautiful forests around the lake and a new nature reserve was inaugurated in the summer of 2023 that connects the beach with Övedskloster's rococo castle. Lake Vombsjön thus has a rich history and in our time the lake and its surroundings are of great importance for recreation as well as for drinking water and food production.

Foto: Johannes Erlandsson

Water quality challenges - nitrogen, chemicals and bird droppings

The combination of summer heat and soil leakage of nitrogen means that toxic blue-green algae bloom almost every year in Vombsjön's water. The excrement from the large number of geese wintering at the lake also negatively affects the water quality. In order to gain a greater understanding of the bacterial problems, the Department of Biology at Lund University together with Fokus Vombsjön has run the citizens' project Algväktarna, where residents around the lake have taken water samples from the lake during the summers. Chemicals from waste water as well as flooding of treatment plants during the winters are also real threats to the waterways in Storkriket.

Regulation of the water

Vombsjön is not really a lake anymore but a pond. The embankment and the water regulation through sluice gates were built during the Second World War when the towns and communities in southwestern Scania grew rapidly and needed more drinking water. A dam regulates the water level and in Vombsjön's case this is done through a water judgment for Kävlingeån. Since landowning farmers along the river have been able to irrigate their fields freely, the water judgment has resulted in Lake Vombsjön needing to "fill up" with water to Kävlingeån, which became a problem in times of drought. The alternative, to free irrigation from the river is for the landowners to build costly rainwater dams themselves. During the increasingly rainy winters, the problem is the opposite. When Lake Vombsjön is filled to the breaking point, it means that large amounts of water needs to be released into Kävlingeån in order not to threaten the fortifications, which increases the flood damage. Last time this happened was in the winter of 2024.

Agenda 2030 - where local and global goals meet

"Water is a basic requirement for all living things on earth, and thus also a requirement for human health and sustainable development. Water is also a requirement for the world's food- and energy production, and lack of water can therefore be a cause of conflict, both within and between countries . But water is not necessarily
a source of conflict, water resources can also act as a unifying force that strengthens cooperation and creates solutions for peace.”
Quote from the Global Goals, GOAL 6: Clean water and sanitation for all.

  • Kävlingeån, flood, winter 2024
  • Drought summer 2023
  • Kävlingeån, winter 2024
  • flooding winter 2024
  • Bird sanctuary by Klingavälsån

From the news

Some examples from the last ear of local news in Storkriket (in Swedish).

Link library

Organizations, companies and services working on water issues that in one way or another links to Storkriket. Use google transfer if needed.

Kävlingeåns vattenråd.
Here you will find a lot of information about the river Kävlingeån and about the water council's various activities.

Projekt Fokus Vombsjön
Fokus Vombsjön is a collaborative project between Kävlingeån water council and Sydvatten and aims to bring together actors in the area around Vombsjön to work together for better water quality in the lake. The citizen project Algväktarna is an example. 

Sydvatten AB
Sydvatten AB is a municipality-owned company that produces drinking water for 17 municipalities in western Scania. The company is today one of Sweden's largest drinking water producers.

VA SYD's mission is that to clean, quality-ensure and supply drinking water and take care of what is flushed down the drains in order to care for oceans and waterways.

A map service for Scania with many layers of information from public sources. "Everything you didn't know you needed."

Länsstyrelsen Skåne
Report from 2012 on Vombsjön including birds, fish and everything in between.

The Swedish Agency Marine and Water Management works on behalf of the government to ensure that lakes, waterways, oceans and fish resources are preserved, restored and used sustainably.

SGU's information on groundwater forms an important basis in matters relating to society's water supply and land use.

Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI)