Today, Alpiq and its partner, the Association of Valais Concession Authorities (ACC), announced the winners of the third edition of the #prixalpiq. Alpiq's CEO, Antje Kanngiesser, and Head of Hydropower Generation, Amédée Murisier – along with the Chairman of the ACC, Christoph Bürgin – personally presented the prizes to the winning projects at an official ceremony at the Chandoline power plant. These accolades are worth a total of CHF 50,000. The projects nominated for the #prixalpiq show the variety of water management issues facing municipalities in the canton of Valais and the solutions they are developing to adapt to climate change. "It's important for us to support these communities and their projects, so that together we can preserve water as an essential resource with a wide range of uses," said Antje Kanngiesser. "The #prixalpiq enables us to highlight and support projects which are having a real impact on water management and which can also serve as an example for other municipalities," added Christoph Bürgin.
The Municipality of Martigny and the Centre de Recherche sur l'Environnement Alpin (CREALP) have won the third edition of the #prixalpiq with their "Sources and climate change" project. With climate change in mind, this project aims to improve our knowledge of groundwater and how it is likely to develop in future in order to optimise the way the municipality's drinking water resources are managed (by the company Sinergy). To do this, CREALP is planning to develop a model of the municipality's main source of drinking water, the Durnand spring. This modelling will provide the basis for pinpointing possible changes in the spring between now and 2100. It will also make it possible to plan the use of this water resource more effectively, in light of changes in local water requirements, and to anticipate potential shortages. The methodology developed from this could then be applied to other water sources.
The #prixalpiq is helping to fund the bulk of this project, which can now commence and should be completed within a year.
This year's jury's Winner of hearts prize was awarded to the "Save water, it's easy!" awareness-raising project run by the municipalities of Finhaut and Trient. Although water has always flowed in abundance in the valley which these two communities call home, they are seeking to massively reduce their water consumption per capita by changing their relationship with this water resource in a sustainable way. Using an attractive publicity campaign, the local authorities want to raise awareness of the importance of water and encourage people to use it more responsibly. This approach won over the #prixalpiq jury because of the tangible changes it seeks to bring about and the fact it could be taken up by other communities too. The prize also recognises the importance of human and behavioural aspects in tackling the challenges associated with water management.
Ten sustainable water management projects supported by seventeen municipalities in Valais were submitted to the #prixalpiq 2023 jury. This panel of twelve leading figures from the local region chose the winning projects based on criteria such as sustainability, feasibility, the usefulness of the project for the municipalities concerned, whether the project could be reapplied elsewhere, and the level of innovation involved.
Alpiq and the ACC are delighted to be supporting this year's winners and are continuing to monitor the progress of the winning projects from previous years.
The #prixalpiq award ceremony was held at Chandoline in Sion. A former hydroelectric power plant, "La Centrale" is welcoming the inaugural Biennale Son this autumn; an event aiming to highlight the growing importance of sound in contemporary art at 17 venues across Valais.