Om drivkrafter bakom några sjösänkningar i Sverige – exempel från Näsbyholmssjön (Skåne) och Hjälmaren (Närke-Södermanland-Västmanland)/ The driving forces behind some lake lowerings in Sweden – examples from Lake Näsbyholmssjön and Lake Hjälmaren
During the period 1840–1940, a large number of lakes in Sweden were drained or the water tables lowered. The driving forces behind these projects are discussed and the most important reasons behind them identified. A change in land ownership from collective towards private and undisputed control stimulated farmers to invest in improvements in the arable land. The pioneers stressed the possibility to get hold of larger land areas that could be cultivated. Drained lakes and wetlands were regarded as unexploited land that could be used for this purpose. With time and accumulated experiences, the drawbacks with drained former lakes and wetlands were also acknowledged, for instance the increased degradation of organic soils when aerated, land subsidences, increased run-off and nutrients losses and down-stream flooding in the water sheds. Since 1950, the trend in the Swedish society has therefore been to restore old lakes and wetlands that used to be lowered. Both lake lowering and lake restoration has to a large extent been of public interest and been supported by governmental funds.