While those of us who have been here a long time take such matters for granted—a position of considerable privilege, we must acknowledge!—we have had a lot of enquiries over the years from people coming to Skåne from far-flung places, all of which boil down (if you’ll pardon the pun) to one question: can I drink the water?
The short answer is: yes! Water from taps in Skåne is perfectly safe—indeed, it often exceeds regulated levels of cleanliness. However, it might differ in taste and source depending on where and when you drink it.
If you visit the metro zone, you will most likely drink a combination of lake water with treated and recycled sewage water. We assure you that this is totally safe to drink—if it helps, just close your eyes and imagine it’s coming out of an alpine stream.
If you visit Skåne in the summer, meanwhile, you might get a dose of DeSal, especially if you spend your time along the Slow Coast or in the area between Helsingborg and Ängelholm. The environmental impacts and energy consumption of desalination plants have prevented them from constituting the main source of drinking water in the county, but they are a vital redundancy in a region which is increasingly prone to seasonal drought.
(If you are keen to see one in action, the former fishing camps along the eastern slow coast house some of the region’s more architecturally interesting desalinators. Look out for buildings shaped as saline crystals and you’re at the right spot. These towns’ excess of both sun and wind energy makes them excellent locations for seasonal desalination.)
What about water from streams and rivers out in the countryside? Well, academic experts and various regulatory authorities state with some confidence that you’re unlikely to drink any water anywhere in Skåne that could make you seriously ill… though that’s not to say it will necessarily taste too great! If you want our opinion, we recommend always having a reusable bottle with you, even on short trips—especially during the summer months!—and filling it up from the tap whenever you get the chance.