Water Protection and Water Management

In 2021, Veitur Utilities secured the supply of drinking water to residents and the business community in the distribution area, in accordance with established quality standards, statutory and regulatory provisions, and objectives of Veitur Utilities.

Quality of potable water in Reykjavik

Veitur Utilities has fifteen water sources, and its water utilities’ distribution systems serve the capital area and the Western and Southern parts of Iceland. ON Power has two water reserves. The water utilities' distribution system serves 45% of the population in Iceland. Strategic water preservation, other preventive measures, and controls have been implemented in order to guarantee water quality.

A dense network of water level meters in and around Veitur Utilitie's waterresource areas near the capital area. Due to droughts in 2021, the water level in Grenkriki was at an all-time low in May 2021. Projects are still being worked on to better understand the connection between environmental factors, microbial pollution and climate change. Following the eruption in Geldingadalur and the wildfires in Heiðmörk in 2021, research was undertaken to assess the impact of the quality of drinking water, no noticeable changes were observed. A preliminary analysis was launched of the impact of an increase in groundwater production in Engidalskvísl by the Hellisheidi power plant, and the results are expected in 2022. In order to better monitor water quality, water sampling was increased at Nesjavellir in 2021.

A drinking water purifying equipment, using ultraviolet (UV) light, was installed in Grundarfjördur to safeguard the quality of the water from the water extraction wells. Preparations for the drilling of two experimental wells in Grábrókarhraun and the renewal of two production wells in Seleyri began in 2021.

Water conservation

Water conservation areas are delimited around the water sources of Veitur Utilities and ON Power. Water conservation areas in Heiðmörk are monitored with regard to, among other things, the transport of oil, petrol and other hazardous chemicals. Accidents and incidents, caused by dangerous behavior within the protected water areas, are registered, addressed, and appropriate action taken. Veitur Utilitites' and ON Power's employees and contractors, that work at the protected water sources, are required to take environmental courses before projects commence, to prevent contamination accidents. This requirement is stipulated in tender documents.

In order to reduce the risk of accidents from oil- or hazardous chemicals accidents in protected water zones within the area, Veitur utilities has consulted with the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration (IRCA), the Association of Local Authorities, and local health inspectorates about the closure and improvement of roads, in addition to further groundwater research in the area. Newly laid ski trails for cross-country skiing run from the former farm Elliðavatnsbær to Heiðmörk, and connect to other ski trails. This ensures accessibility for cross-country skiers, even if the Heiðmörk Road is closed due to icy conditions and water protection.