Although there is a risk of water shortage again this summer in Switzerland, one of the largest Swiss drinking water sources is to be sold to international investors. There are also Chinese among the bidders.
While there is a risk of drought in Switzerland, the rights to one of Switzerland’s most important water reservoirs are to be sold abroad.
The Mühlackern drinking water source in the Swiss canton of Valais is one of the largest sources in Switzerland. But soon it will be sold abroad, like the Swiss daily newspaper View reported on Friday.
The municipality of Turtmann-Unterems in the canton of Valais told the newspaper that it was aware of various negotiations. Chinese investors are among them.
According to the report, a source rights agreement was signed with a local contractor 12 years ago. This is valid for 99 years. Since then, however, the owner has been trying unsuccessfully to sell the rights to the water.
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The current owner is said to be planning a 30 million Swiss franc (around 30.4 million euro) project that includes a bottling plant for mineral water.
The mineral water will then be sold abroad with a picture of the well-known Swiss mountain Matterhorn, as the Swiss market is already sufficiently covered, the report continues.
However, plans to sell the water source have drawn criticism from the community given the threat of drought. A resident said opposite View:
“In the summer we weren’t even allowed to wash our car because we had to save water. And now this source, which we could probably make good use of ourselves at some point, is to be sold abroad? That’s the horror, really bad.”
According to experts, not enough snow fell this winter in Switzerland. In addition, the temperatures were too high overall and it rained too little, which could lead to a strained water supply in the coming summer.
But there are also positive voices. Another resident told the newspaper that he would have no problem if the Chinese took over the source.
If a mineral water factory were built in Switzerland, that would also create new jobs, the man continued. He added: “It is simply important to me that the employees then find good working conditions.”
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