Department Surface Waters - Research and Management

Impacts of pumped-storage operations


Upper Lake Zurich and Sihlsee are today connected by a small pumped-storage hydropower plant. In this project we investigate the effects of different scenarios with increased pumped-storage capacity on the two lakes. The following questions will be tackled using numerical models:

  • How are water temperature, stratification and water quality in the two lakes affected by different pumped-storage scenarios?
  • What are the expected effects on the ice cover on Sihlsee?
  • What are the interactions between the effects of climate change and those of pumped-storage?

Field observations are conducted in Sihlsee since 2014 to obtain observational data for model calibration. This project is financially supported by the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB).