Chinese want to buy Swiss drinking water source

Turtmann VS is home to one of the largest untapped sources of drinking water in Switzerland. The rights are now to be sold abroad. The village is appalled.

A view of Turtmann from above. – Keystone


the essentials in brief

  • One of the largest drinking water springs in Switzerland is to be sold in Turtmann VS.
  • Customers should be foreign investors, of all people.
  • Offers from Switzerland cannot keep up with the sums offered.

Switzerland and surrounding countries are increasingly struggling with persistent droughts. This makes the Swiss Confederation, as “Europe’s moated castle”, also attractive as an investment property.

In the municipality of Turtmann VS, this is now leading to heated discussions.

According to «Blick» the Mühlackern drinking water source is to be sold to foreign investors. Among other things, one is also in negotiations with the Chinese. Mühlackern is one of the largest springs in Switzerland.

Matterhorn mineral water has mega potential in China

The water from said spring is not yet used commercially. The first projects for this already existed 40 years ago. In 2011, the community with around 1,100 inhabitants is said to have concluded a 99-year source right contract with a local entrepreneur.

This man has been trying unsuccessfully to sell the rights to the water ever since. He has a large-scale 30 million project in mind, where mineral water will be bottled in Turtmann VS. Because the water flows directly through the Matterhorn, the bottles with the corresponding motif are to be sold abroad.

The 1100-strong village of Turtmann VS.
Matterhorn Peak Mountains Panorama Switzerland Italy
The Matterhorn is one of the most photographed mountains in the world.
The drinking water should therefore be sold with the Matterhorn motif. (icon picture)
Again and again droughts. In Valais, the fields are irrigated.

Switzerland enjoys an excellent reputation, especially in the Far East. That is why Chinese investors, among others, are now said to be very interested in the project. The entrepreneur argues that the domestic market is already saturated.

In fact, an ETH water expert in China considers “sales of several 100 million francs per year” to be possible. With Matterhorn mineral water.

A Swiss investor, who also bid several million Swiss francs, could not keep up. His offer is worse than that of interested parties from a foreign consortium. That’s why he’s out of the question as a potential buyer, the owner of the source rights then argues to the newspaper.

Residents irritated by sales plans

In the village itself, there is one point in particular that bothers you: the spring is to be sold abroad – even though there is often a water shortage in the Valais summer.

How much water do you drink a day?

«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 bad, »a resident is quoted as saying.

And another thinks: “It should stay local. You can now see with energy what it’s like when you’re suddenly dependent on Russia.”

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