Svenskt Vatten was set up by the municipalities in 1962 to assist with technical, economic and administrative issues and to represent the interests of the municipalities in negotiations with authorities and other organisations on regulations.
One of the first duties of Svenskt Vatten was to collect and evaluate statistical data. Other obligations are the compilation of recommendations and guidelines and the arrangement of seminars and short courses for the members. Svenskt Vatten has several ad hoc working groups with experts from member municipalities covering the whole field of municipal water and wastewater activities.
Svenskt Vatten publishes a journal, newsletters and reports. The association is a member of EUREAU, the European Union of National Association of Water Supplies and administers IWA, the national secretariat for the International Water Association. At present, Svenskt Vatten has 290 municipalities as its members. In other words it is no exaggeration to claim that Svenskt Vatten well represents the national municipal units for water and wastewater. The membership fees, the size of which depends on the population of the municipality, are the basis for the activities within Svenskt Vatten and this fee is put on the water tariff, which means that the consumers pay.
The office is situated in Stockholm and employs approx 25 persons. Another of Svenskt Vattens obligations is to not only initiate but also to sponsor research and development within the field. On a voluntary basis the municipalities contribute SEK 1,92 per person and year. As practically all municipalities are members, this generates SEK 18 million a year for applied research within the field. Several studies have been undertaken and about 400 reports issued. This fee, like the membership fee, is also put on top of the water bill by the municipalities, which means that the consumers or end users of the facilities finance the research and development that is needed. On an international level Svenskt Vatten promotes the dissemination of Swedish know-how.