The Crown Princess opens Mörbylånga Waterworks

The Crown Princess with Luxembourg's ambassador Janine Finck, Prince Félix of Luxembourg and County Governor Thomas Carlzon.

The Crown Princess with Luxembourg's ambassador Janine Finck, Prince Félix of Luxembourg and County Governor Thomas Carlzon. Photo: Pelle T Nilsson/SPA

On Friday 12 Jul, The Crown Princess opened Mörbylånga's new waterworks on Öland. The waterworks turn brackish water from the Baltic Sea into drinking water.

The Crown Princess, HRH Prince Félix of Luxembourg, County Governor Thomas Carlzon, Chair of the Municipal Council Kjell Magnusson and Chair of the Municipal Executive Board Matilda Wärenfalk were first given a tour of the plant.

The Crown Princess and Prince Félix of Luxembourg during the tour of Mörbylånga's new waterworks.

The Crown Princess and Prince Félix of Luxembourg during the tour of Mörbylånga's new waterworks. Photo: Pelle T Nilsson/SPA

The tour began in the processing hall, where brackish water and pre-treated industrial water are combined in two large basins. This is followed by filtering, desalination, remineralisation and the concluding disinfection stage, when the water passes through ultraviolet light before becoming drinking water.

Tasting the purified water

The opening ceremony began with Municipal Director Ann Willsund welcoming all those present. Mörbylånga Cultural School then performed pieces of music, and the County Governor and Prince Félix of Luxembourg gave speeches. The ceremony concluded with a tasting of the purified water, and The Crown Princess declared the waterworks open.

The purified water was tasted during the opening ceremony.

The purified water was tasted during the opening ceremony. Photo: Margareta Thorgren/The Royal Court of Sweden

Öland has suffered an acute shortage of water for a number of years. Mörbylånga Waterworks desalinates brackish water from the Baltic Sea, and reuses outgoing water from Mörbylånga's industrial water treatment plant. Mörbylånga Waterworks is Europe's first full-scale facility to turn used water into drinking water.

Öland's water shortage

Extremely low levels of precipitation for several years running has led to a serious water shortage on Öland. Several actions have been taken to provide water in the short and long terms. A water pipe has been built to the mainland, water has been transported by tanker, new wells have been drilled and old wells have been brought back into use. Infiltration facilities have also been prepared ahead of the coming rainfall period.

In August 2016, Mörbylånga Municipality decided to build a new waterworks to process brackish water, similar to the facility in Sandvik on northern Öland.

On 22 June 2017, The King opened the new waterworks in Sandvik for desalinating brackish water from the Baltic Sea. Find out more about the opening ceremony hereopens in new window.

On 12 July 2019, The Crown Princess opened the new waterworks in Mörbylånga.