Greenlandic water and sanitation—a context oriented analysis of system challenges towards local sustainable development

Abstract

Today, as Greenland focuses on more economic and cultural autonomy, the continued development of societal infrastructure systems is vital. At the same time, pressure is put on the systems by a lack of financial resources and locally based professional competences as well as new market-based forms of organization. Against this background, the article discusses the challenges facing Greenland’s self-rule in relation to further develop the existing water and wastewater systems so that they can contribute to the sustainable development of Greenland. The article reviews the historical development of the water supply and wastewater system. This leads to an analysis of the sectorisation, which in recent decades has reorganized the Greenlandic infrastructures, and of how this process is influencing local sustainable development. The article discusses the socio-economic and human impacts and points to the need for developing the water and sanitation system to support not only hygiene and health, but also local sustainable development.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

Notes

  1. 1.

    Internationally, this kind of toilet technology are often referred to as ‘honey buckets’, but to underline the contextual practise in Greenland where the technology is integrated into a public system, we use the notion of ‘bag toilets’ which is a translation of the local way to refer to the system of ‘toilets with a replaceable bag’.

References

  1. Andersen T, Danielsen M, Nielsen OP (1998) Erhvervspolitik i Grønland (Industrial policy in Greenland), Samfundsøkonomen, 1998:8 (in Danish)

  2. Boserup M (1963) Økonomisk politik i Grønland (Economic policy in Greenland), Grønlandsudvalget af 1960. (in Danish)

  3. Bro H (1993) Kilder til en dansk kolonihistorie (Sources of Danish Colonial History), Det Grønlandske Selskab. (in Danish)

  4. Dahl J (1986) Arktisk Selvstyre (Arctic Self Rule), Akademisk Forlag. (in Danish)

  5. Danielsen M, Andersen T, Knudsen T, Nielsen O (1998) Mål og strategier i den grønlandske erhvervsudvikling (Objectives and strategies in the Greenlandic business development), Sulisa A/S. (in Danish)

  6. Delaney AE, Becker Jakobsen R, Hendriksen K (2012) Greenland Halibut in Upernavik: a preliminary study of the importance of the stock for the fishing populace: a study undertaken under the Greenland climate research Centre. Aalborg University, Aalborg

  7. Greenland Commission (1950) Grønlandskommissionens betænkning (Greenland Commission report). (in Danish)

  8. Greenland Committee (1964) Betænkning fra Grønlandsudvalget af 1960 (Report from the Greenland Committe 1960), Report nr 363. (in Danish)

  9. Greenland Economic Council (2012) Økonomisk Råds rapport 2012, Naturressourcer som vækststrategi (Economic council report 2012, Natural Resources as a growth strategy). (in Danish)

  10. Greenland Employers’ Association (1997) Den fjerde søjle (The fourth column). (in Danish)

  11. Greenland Home Rule (1997) Politisk Økonomisk Redegørelse (Political economic survey). (in Danish)

  12. Hendriksen, K. (2013) Grønlands bygder – økonomi og udviklingsdynamik (Greenland settlements— Economy and development dynamics), Inussuk, Arktisk forskningsjournal 3, Government of Greenland (in Danish)

  13. Hendriksen K, Hoffmann B (2016) Qaanaaq Distrikt—infrastruktur og erhvervsgrundlag—Sammenfatning af pilotprojekt om lokal baseret erhvervsudvikling (Qaanaaq Distrikt—infrastructure and businesses developement—resume of a pilot project on locally based businesses development), Report, Technical University of Denmark, Department of Civil Engineering. (in Danish)

  14. Hendriksen K, Jørgensen U (2015) Hunting and fishing settlements in Upernavik district of northernGreenland: challenged by climate, centralization and globalization. Polar Geogr 38(2):123–145

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Hertling K (1977) Grønlandske paradokser – Træk af Grønlands politiske udvikling fra 2. verdenskrig til i dag (Greenlandic paradoxes—Drawings of Greenland's political development from World War II to today), Fremads Fokusbøger. (in Danish)

  16. Hertz O (1995) Økologi og levevilkår i Uummannamiut (Ecology and living conditions in Uummannamiut), Christian Ejlers’ Forlag. (in Danish)

  17. Jonsson I (1995) West-Nordic countries in crises: neo-structuralism, collective entrepreneurship and microsocieties facing global systems of innovation. Copenhagen, New Social Science Monographs, IOA, Copenhagen Business School

  18. Lauritzen P (1989) Glimt af en arktisk revolution (Glimpse of an Arctic revolution). (in Danish)

  19. Lyck L (1999) Arctic international trade—a study focused on the Greenlandic international trade regime. Copenhagen, New Social Monographs, IOA, Copenhagen Business School

  20. Lynge A (1970) Politisk Revy (Political Revue). From: Bro, H. (1993): Greenland. Kilder til en dansk kolonihistorie (Sources of Danish Colonial History), Det Grønlandske Selskab. (in Danish)

  21. Naalakkersuisut/Government of Greenland (2015) Selvstyrets bekendtgørelse nr. 10 af 12. juni 2015 om bortskaffelse af latrin og spildevand (Selv Rule’s Act n. 10 from June 12th. 2015 about disposal of night soil and waste water). (in Danish)

  22. Nielsen JK (2000) Kriterierne for Grønlands økonomiske bæredygtighed—og dens strategiske implikationer (Criteria for Greenland’s economic sustainability—and the strategic implications). In Politica, Institut for Statskundskab AUC. (in Danish)

  23. NIRAS Greenland (2010) Økonomisk selvstændighed—En enorm opgave, men ikke håbløs (Economic autonomy—a huge task, but not hopeless). (in Danish)

  24. Nukissiorfiit (2016) Prisblad nr. 30 (Pricelist no 30). (in Danish)

  25. OECD (2011) OECD territorial reviews: NORA Region—The Faroe Islands. Iceland and Costal Norway, Greenland

    Google Scholar 

  26. Poppel B (1998) Den grønlandske økonomi—Nogle grundtræk i udviklingen siden Hjemmestyrets indførelse (The Greenlandic economy—basic features of the development since the introduction of home rule). In Samfundsøkonomen, 1998:8. (in Danish)

  27. Rosendahl GP (1989) Grønland sådan set. Rammerne om dagligdagen. (Greenland in this way. Frames for everyday life), Nuna-tek (in Danish)

  28. Rosing N (1970) Tale i folketinget (A Speech in the Danish Parliament). From: Bro, H. (1993): Greenland, Sources of Danish Colonial History, Det grønlandske Selskab. (in Danish)

  29. Sørensen C (2007) Grønlands økonomi—utopi, realiteter og en nordatlantisk sammenligning (Greenland’s economy—utopia, reality and a North Atlantic comparison). In Samfundsøkonomen 2007:1 (in Danish)

  30. Statistic Greenland (2016) http://bank.stat.gl/pxweb/da/Greenland/Greenland__BE. (in Danish)

  31. Steenfos HP, Taageholt J (2012) Grønlands teknologiske historie (Greenland’s Technological History), Gyldendal. (in Danish)

  32. Structural Policy Coordination (2004) Strategiplan for udligningsordning for ophævelse af ensprissystemet for el, vand og varme (Strategy for compensation for termination of ensprissystemet for electricity, water and heating), Home Rule. (in Danish)

  33. Structure Committee (2005) Betænkning vedrørende en strukturreform af den offentlige sektor (Report on the structural reform of the public sector), Home Rule. (in Danish)

  34. Tax and Welfare Commission (2010) Hvordan sikres vækst og velfærd i Grønland? Baggrundsrapport. (How to secure Growth and Welfare in Greenland? Background Report) (In Danish)

  35. The Committee for Greenlandic Mineral Resources to the Benefit of Society (2014) To the benefit of Greenland, Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland & University of Copenhagen

  36. United Nations (2015) Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015, http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/70/1&Lang=E

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kåre Hendriksen.

Additional information

Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Hendriksen, K., Hoffmann, B. Greenlandic water and sanitation—a context oriented analysis of system challenges towards local sustainable development. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 33014–33024 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-9862-z

Download citation

Keywords

  • Greenland
  • Water systems
  • Sanitation
  • Infrastructure systems
  • Modernization
  • Sectorisation
  • Sustainable development
  • Settlement patterns