Previously an exceptionally clear water lake, Lake Vesijärvi became one of the most polluted lakes in Finland in the 1960s and 70s. Since then, through active management, the lake’s condition has been improved significantly. In the early 2000s, however, funding for treatment measures threatened to run out.

To secure funding and to continue management measures, the Lake Vesijärvi Foundation was established jointly in 2007 by the City of Lahti, the municipalities of Asikkala and Hollola, Esan Kirjapaino Ltd, Kemppi Ltd and Lahden Teollisuusseura.

The Foundation is a unique Finnish initiative that combines public and private resources to secure funding for research, maintenance, and management efforts focusing on Lake Vesijärvi and its catchment area, and on 20 smaller nearby lakes. The -Ffoundation also works to improve public awareness of water management and to promote all efforts to improve water quality in its area of operation.


Lake Vesijärvi Foundation aims to be a visible leader in lake management

The mission of the Lake Vesijärvi Foundation is to enable the preservation and strengthening of the scientific, economic, and social environment of water management that is needed to restore the condition of the waters.

The goal of the Lake Vesijärvi Foundation is to achieve good status for Lake Vesijärvi, as specified by the EU water legislation, and to improve the recreational value and status of the key small lakes in the region. The aim is to continuously develop new policies to promote water management with a wide network of cooperation.

Area of operation

As founding members, the municipalities of Lahti, Hollola and Asikkala form the basic operational area of the Foundation. The focus is on the lakes and rivers and their catchment areas. Lake Vesijärvi receives the greatest attention as it was the original inspiration to start protecting the waters. However, the smaller lakes will by no means be forgotten, and the rivers and small streams are an essential part of the region’s entire water ecosystem.


The annual funding of the Lake Vesijärvi programme is 1–1.5 million euros. A third of the annual funding is managed by the City of Lahti, with the Lake Vesijärvi Foundation managing the remaining two thirds. Roughly 50% of the Foundation’s funding comes from municipalities, with the other half contributed by the state, companies, other organisations, and private donors.