Skip to content

The Finnish Drainage Foundation increases information about field water management and reduces the load of nutrients flowing into the Baltic Sea

In Progress Eutrophication Increasing Knowledge


In its Baltic Sea Commitment, the Drainage Foundation increases research information on land drainage in Finland in order to reduce nutrient loadings to the Baltic Sea, and promotes cooperation between farmers, researchers and authorities targeting to a cleaner Baltic Sea.


Drainage Foundation


Commitment made in 2015



The ecological status of the Baltic Sea is related to effluents. In Finland, efficient waste water treatment plants have decreased the effluents of point sources considerably. The focus is now on the decreasing of diffuse loads from rural areas.

The optimization of the water balance of fields is environmentally sustainable. When the growing conditions are optimal, crops utilize nutrients efficiently thus reducing the risk of nutrient leaching to water courses. In cultivated fields, the water balance depends on the artificial drainage of fields. In addition to other beneficial effects, proper drainage provides the optimal growing conditions for plants and prevents soil degradation by compaction caused by cultivation actions in wet conditions. However, due to the fact that the positive effects of drainage are mainly indirect they may be unrecognized.

The Finnish Drainage Foundation has supported research projects related to subsurface drainage of fields since 1984. The projects have been related to various environmental issues such as nutrient loadings, the leaching of harmful elements or compounds as well as erosion and soil compaction. Beside this activity many drainage related studies have been carried out by other actors. The research results have been published in diverse national and international journals.

The Baltic Sea commitment focuses on the implementation of research information and increasing the cooperation between industry stakeholders for the benefit of the Baltic Sea.



Sharing information: In order to improve the possibility of researchers and the public all around the Baltic Sea to better access and utilize the results, the Drainage Foundation establish a land drainage research databank. This open access database enables the search of drainage related studies and their results in Finnish, Swedish and English with links to the original research reports.


Increasing collaboration: The Drainage Foundation will arrange national and international seminars where all actors such as farmers, researchers, and authorities are welcome to discuss the best water management practices of fields in relation to a cleaner Baltic Sea. The foundation plans to support the publishing of a guidebook which deals with the best practices of the water balance optimization of fields and their relation to the environment.

Water management in fields inevitably affects the quantity and quality of water flowing into the Baltic Sea. With its commitment, the Drainage Foundation wants to promote sustainable water management in agriculture by continuing to organize interdisciplinary seminars that bring together all parties, from farmers to advisors, researchers and officials. Seminars enable introducing new information, making connections and open discussion forums, and are therefore important for getting everyone involved in saving the Baltic Sea.

Seija Virtanen, Executive Director, Finnish Drainage Foundation



A seminar will be organized and the topic will be detailed closer to the event.


A seminar on water management and ways of adapting to climate change and increasing biodiversity. An innovation competition for the sustainable development of drainage.


400 attendees at a seminar on “Land Use and water management in a changing environment”.


Launch of an open reasearch databank.



Tanya Santalahti

Senior Specialist, Corporate Relations; Regenerative Agriculture

+358 50 550 3240