What does Cementa’s production mean for drinking water?
The evidence presented by Cementa regarding the risks to drinking water on Gotland has been inadequate, probably because too much investigation would show how disastrous their operations are for drinking water.
Gotland is an island, situated on limestone. Cementa’s lime mining disrupts the flow of water to the aquifers, as the water flows laterally to the deepest level of the mine and is then pumped out to sea. This causes the wells near the mine to dry up. It also means that there is a risk of salt water entering the groundwater, and the mine is close to one of the largest drinking water reservoirs on the island – Tingstäde swamp. In its ruling, the “Court of Appeal for Land and the Environment” (Mark- och Miljödomstolen) states that the groundwater quality on some parts of the island already does not meet the requirements for good groundwater status. The samples show significantly elevated levels of saline water, which have increased over time. Cementa is destroying the already poor supply of groundwater and is making it impossible to live on the island!
What problems is Cementa causing for the local environment on Gotland and in Slite?
The destruction of water resources affects not only people but also vegetation and sensitive nature. Gotland’s limestone-rich soils mean that there are many unique species and biotopes on the island, which are now being destroyed by Cementa’s activities. For example, there are three sensitive butterfly species in the area that are red-listed and endangered (apollo butterfly, black-spotted blue wing and weathervane butterfly) whose breeding grounds, right up to the edge of the Slite quarry, are threatened.