Water driven rural development in the Baltic Sea Region

January 2019 -
December 2021


Policy area:
2. Natural resources 2.1 Clear waters


Targets for water quality set by national and international legislation such as the Water Framework Directive have not been met yet in many regions around the Baltic Sea. There seems to be a lack of capacity among local authorities to reach these targets and at the same time to develop competitive rural businesses. The WATERDRIVE project enhances local implementation practices for responsible water management by providing tools and training for about 20 rural communities.


Risks in water

The water and natural ecosystems in the Baltic Sea region are negatively affected by high nutrient loadings, eutrophication, drought and floodings. The project WATERDRIVE implements smarter water management practices in agricultural landscapes to reduce nutrient loads by 30-50%. The project establishes innovative cross-sectoral cooperation among local authorities, farming communities, agricultural advisory services and other water- and land managers in the topics of high ecosystem productivity, resource efficient growth and risk management.

New tools for clearer waters

WATERDRIVE develops innovative digital technologies and methods for “doing the right thing at the right place”, adapts policies and financing for managing water on a landscape level, and implements a capacity building program for smart water management in agricultural landscapes of the Baltic Sea region.

WATERDRIVE combines the efforts to reduce nutrient loading with managing risks related to flooding and drought. These phenomena make it increasingly difficult for food producers to cope with on their own. The project works on methods to keep the water availability in the agricultural landscape for longer periods.

Around 20 rural communities from Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Sweden are directly involved in the project, and further 100 benefit from the innovative WATERDRIVE tools.


€ 3.15
€ 2.13
Eni + Russia
€ 0.37
€ 0.00



Project manager

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU

Staffan Lund

46 706 303 829

Legal representative

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Martin Melkersson

+46 18 671370

Financial manager

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Hallvard Wie

4 618 671 288

Communication manager

Biedrība Zemnieku Saeima

Zanda Melnalksne