Institute of Geography and Sustainability of the University of Lausanne
Research projects

Search again

Artificial snowmaking and water resources in mid-altitude mountain areas. The case of Chablais (France, Switzerland)

Research fields Margins, environment, landscapes
Water Resources Management
Water Resources Management
Keywords Water management
Artificial snow
Funding Eiffage Company
Duration September 2008 - August 2012
Researchers Magnier Elodie (Doctoral student)
Peulvast Jean-Pierre (Supervision)
Reynard Emmanuel (Supervision) [web] [email]

Artificial snowmaking has rapidly developed during the last years in the Alps. The production of artificial snow necessitates important amounts of water that is extracted from drinking water infrastructures, rivers, groundwater or artificial basins. The aim of the research is to measure the impact of artificial snowmaking on the water resources at the catchment scale in mid-altitude mountains. The study concerns the last 20 years and compares the management, the resource distribution, and the snow production in two tourist resorts located in the Chablais massif (Avoriaz, in France, and Champéry, in Switzerland). The method is based on an hydrological approach and three main questions are addressed: 1) the identification of the artificial snowmaking production modes, and water management and resource distribution in the two resorts, as well as the regulation processes; 2) the definition of the relative importance of water uses for drinking water, tourist activities, artificial snowmaking; 3) the observation of potential hydrological regime changes.

Project location