These days, people do not hesitate to swim in Swiss lakes and rivers, they can drink clean water and do not have to worry about their waste water being cleaned up. That has not always been the case. Even fifty years ago, rivers foamed and lakes were polluted.
Eawag has played a leading role, not only in Switzerland but also in Europe and in many other countries, in research, consultancy and teaching activities in the fields of aquatic ecology, the environmental behaviour of substances, and urban water management. It can look back on a varied and dynamic past. Starting out as the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich) Advisory Centre, with three employees, it has developed into an internationally recognised research institute that now has more than 400 employees across two sites in Switzerland.
75 years of Eawag
In 2011 the water research institute of the ETH celebrated its 75th anniversary with an open view of the future of water. Eawag presented itself at different occasions and also hosted various events. The brochure "Eawag: Past, present and future" published in the anniversary year provides an insight into water research in the past, the present and the future.
100 years of hydrobiological laboratory in Kastanienbaum
Only a few years after its 75th anniversary, the Hydrobiological Laboratory in Kastanienbaum celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016. Founded in 1916 and taken over by Eawag in 1960, more than 100 researchers from all over the world work in the laboratories today. The small laboratory has become the competence centre for ecology, evolution and biogeochemistry.
In the past the installation of a functioning water infrastructure, provision of clean drinking water and water protection were in the focus. That pressure on water resources is still increasing. That is why Eawag and its research facilities are promoting solutions now that strike a balance between the needs of nature and those of people.