Three important water stakeholders become a Blue Community

The Swiss Water Association (VSA), Eawag and Hunziker Betatech AG HBT recognise water as a public good and a human right, commit to tap water and become a Blue Community. At the same time, Blue Community Switzerland is joining forces with the Solidarit’eau Suisse network and utilising synergies. The VSA now runs the Blue Community Switzerland office together with partners.

Water as a public good, water as a human right, drinking tap water instead of bottled water, international solidarity and the responsible use of water: this summarises the core concerns of Blue Communities. Today, around 40 cities, universities, parishes, trade unions and NGOs belong to the Blue Community Switzerland network. With the industry association VSA, the water research institute Eawag and Hunziker Betatech AG HBT, three important Swiss water players with influence for the entire water sector have joined the network.

For Stefan Hasler, Director of the VSA, the Blue Community commitment is a matter of the heart: "The VSA has been committed to the protection and sustainable use of water as a resource for many decades. The four principles of Blue Community are fully in line with our commitment. That’s why we want to further develop this strong brand and work to ensure that there are 400 Blue Communities in Switzerland in a few years instead of just 40."

Benjamin Lüthi, Member of the Management Board of Hunziker Betatech AG HBT, explains HBT’s commitment with the following words: "Water is exciting, inspiring and sometimes complex - even with over six decades of experience in the field of wastewater and water protection that we have in the company. We feel a shared responsibility to give the valuable resource of water a voice. Together with the other members of the Blue Community, we want to ensure that this goal is achieved."

For Christian Stamm, Deputy Director of Eawag, Eawag’s inclusion in the Blue Community is "almost absolutely essential". After all, Stamm says, Eawag has played a key role in shaping water protection in Switzerland since the 1930s. "Above all, we have always been committed to gaining a comprehensive understanding of water as a habitat and resource, identifying problems at an early stage and developing widely accepted solutions together with practitioners and the authorities," says Stamm.

Blue Community Switzerland and Solidarit’eau Suisse complement each other

The VSA has been running the Solidarit’eau Suisse secretariat together with the Service de l’eau Lausanne since 1 January 2021. The aim of this initiative is to enable Swiss communities to show their solidarity with countries in the Global South by promoting projects for the construction of wells, pipelines and sanitary facilities as well as hygiene awareness campaigns. Solidarit’eau Suisse is the ideal tool for Blue Communities, which do not have their own experts to evaluate/maintain an international partnership, to implement principle no. 4 "Promoting international partnerships in the drinking water or sanitation sector". This is why Blue Community and Solidarit’eau Suisse are working together. The VSA plays a leading role within the secretariat of Blue Community Switzerland and continues to manage the Solidarit’eau Suisse project platform.
Andri Bryner