Chemin des Vergers 16, 3978 Flanthey, Schweiz, Switzerland
© 2013 | Walter Thut - Engineer, researcher
Human does and can influence the water cycles on the planetary scale. Societies grow on land around water. Due the climate development we will face more frequent and longer dry periods, water management and water storage becomes crucial. The alpine regions need to take into account situations like glacier disappearance when investing into pipe systems having life cycles of hundred years or more.
Big infrastructure projects will be required for assuring future water supply.
What are the strategies to choose? Since 2013 most of my time has been invested in the answer of the question: can multi-purpose reservoirs replace the disappearing glaciers to replace the melted water
Recent studies in Switzerland have shown that the distributors of drinking water do not invoice high enough prices for public water distribution to cover the amortization and renewing. This means first that priority infrastructures are deteriorating and loosing value. In this otherwise highly developed country there are at least 4’000 liters per second leaking into the underground.
It can be estimated, that in Switzerland there is a non-exploited potential of 0.5 to 1 Billion Swiss francs for sustainable water distribution. This is a chance for the Swiss economy, and can sustainably assure thousands of jobs (that can not be outsorced out of Switzerland).
For supplying the society with water the thousands of villages cannot be left alone and uncoordinated. Politics, economy, science and society must collaborate on a national and a sustainable level, for the benefit of all.
The last while I've been preparing a project of public, economic and ecologic interest for the Canton of Valais. The project “Rés-Eau 2020” shall synchronize on a sustainable level the water management in around 130 villages and cities. Here you get to the project description:
A remark on energy policy:
With today's price problems of the truly sustainable hydro power you often hear that the problem is caused by the subsidies for other sustainable energies. The truth is, that if nuclear energy would pay for the stockage of its waste, its climate heating by vapour (a stronger propellant than CO2) and its heating of whole river flows, non of the sustainable energies would require any subsidies.
filling up rivers during dry periods? Can they be a successful strategy for Switzerland’s sustainable water management?
Here you get directly to a brochure with details on this topic (in French and German):