Valais, Switzerland

Regional Demonstrators

The state of Valais, the third largest canton of Switzerland, is often described as the water tower of Europe. In the Erdjye (irrigate in old local patois) demonstrator, while climate change impacts accelerate, their ability to act slows down, mainly due to systemic complexity and democratic/legal procedures.  

Climate change has a major effect on water, leading to critical issues: on July 9th, 2022, 11 people died in the Alps due to the collapse of The Marmolada Glacier. Beyond this dramatic event, Alps had to face large-scale modifications and threats. Melting of permafrost is related to massive acceleration of rocks movements, putting infrastructures and populations at risk. Flooding patterns are also changing significantly. The evolution of hydrological regimes has consequences for water management in both the Alps and the water-dependent lowlands like Po, Rhone, Danube and Rhine. It also impacts energy management, 40% of Swiss electricity is produced by dams, which simultaneously act as a major energy storage unit for renewable energy through massive, pumped storage facilities.  

Therefore, a system fostering dialogue, co-creation of solutions and faster decision making will be built. The Erdjye system will aggregate current data flow, new monitoring techniques, traditional practices and contextual information on a new type of inclusive digital platform, associated to specific human interaction methodologies. MountResilience will help delivering both generic tools and methodologies, demonstrating the impact of the ecosystem, the digital platform and the associated methodologies and implement specific practices and technologies supporting the nature-based solutions (NbS). It involves natural fertilization for local farming through glacier water monitoring; inclusive anticipatory ecosystem to support co-creation and decision-making at regional level on water; NbS riverbed and shore design; new digital platform for inclusive dialogue, co-creation and decision-making on water; new sensors systems for the measurement of CO2 in glacier water for natural fertilisation by alpine water.