The latest news from Eawag

Our soil consists of several layers. It is porous and loose near the surface, but compact like concrete at depth. Pictured: soil from the boreholes for the necessary groundwater pumps (Photo: Eawag, Joaquin Jimenez-Martinez).
Impact of high-temperature heat storage on groundwater
June 13, 2024

An Eawag project is investigating how borehole thermal energy storage (BTES) affects the surrounding soil, the groundwater and the microorganisms living in it.

The Aquascope is anchored to its buoy in Lake Zug (Photo: Eawag).
Underwater camera explores microcosms in Lake Zug
June 5, 2024

The Aquascope underwater camera has been installed in Lake Zug. It is the second permanent measuring station for plankton in Swiss water bodies.

Lémanscope is a citizen-science initiative to monitor the health of Lake Geneva (Photo, 2024 EPFL/Jamani Caillet - CC-BY-SA 4.0)
500 volunteers needed to give Lake Geneva a check-up
May 21, 2024

EPFL has teamed up with three organizations – the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and the Association for the Safeguard of Lake Geneva (ASL) – to develop Lémanscope, a citizen-science initiative to monitor the health of Lake Geneva. Today the researchers are calling on volunteers to help collect essential data.

Amphibian pond near Bremgarten. (Photo: Thomas Reich, WSL)
Four ponds, 100 square metres, diverse and fluctuating: ...
May 16, 2024

Number, size, surroundings and water level: for the first time, there are quantitative scientific recommendations when it comes to the development of new ecological infrastructures for amphibian conservation. A team of researchers from Eawag, WSL and info fauna karch has analysed the optimal conditions for life between water and land. 

Not all Swiss streams are in a near-natural state like the Orbe in the Canton of Vaud (Photo: Adobe Stock).
Deficits in the ecological state of small Swiss streams
May 6, 2024

A survey of 99 small Swiss streams reveals that the majority of the studied streams have significant deficits in their ecological condition and can only fulfil their function as a habitat for animals to a limited extent. Insect larvae and other small animals that react sensitively to pesticides are missing in over 70% of the streams examined. Statistical analyses indicate that these aquatic organisms are particularly impacted when the structure and morphology of the stream bed has been altered or if the proportion of agricultural land in the catchment area is high.

Changing habitats increases risks for lake trout. (Photo: Michel Roggo)
The risky life of a lake trout
April 22, 2024

Lake trout migrate between different habitats many times over their lives. This helps them grow larger and have more offspring than sedentary trout. However, it also exposes them to dangers – both natural risks and from human intervention in their habitats. To be able to protect them better, researchers from Eawag are investigating the variety and ecological differences of lake trout as part of a nationwide research project in Switzerland.

The Himalayan Balsam is a widespread invasive species in Switzerland that can also affect neighbouring aquatic ecosystems. (Photo: Florian Altermatt, Eawag)
Impacts of invasive species transcend ecosystem ...
April 4, 2024

Invasive species influence biodiversity across larger spatial extents than previously thought. In a recently published study, researchers from Eawag and the University of Zurich show that the impacts of invasive species extend far beyond the ecosystems they invade and that three mechanisms are primarily responsible for this. These findings are of great importance for the management of ecosystems.

Revision of the Plant Protection Products Ordinance: ...
April 3, 2024

Eawag and the Ecotox Centre welcome a total revision of the Plant Protection Products Ordinance (PPPO). However, the two institutes are calling for improvements on important points, such as the adoption of EU authorisations or the precautionary principle. The ordinance must ensure that other regulations such as the Water Protection or the Environmental Protection Act are not undermined.

The two new Swiss postage stamps, which will be available in May, depict endangered species from Lake Thun and the River Doubs. (Image: Post CH Netz AG)
Endangered underwater world in postage stamp format
March 21, 2024

Two new Swiss postage stamps, created with the support of Eawag, focus attention on the endangered biodiversity in Swiss water bodies.

Barriers such as the Müllerschwelle weir in the River Zulg in Steffisburg hinder or prevent fish migration. The Water Protection Act stipulates that such barriers must be rehabilitated and made passable for fish. In September 2023, the commune of Steffisburg began rehabilitation work on the Müllerschwelle weir to improve the connectivity along the River Zulg.  (Photo: Commune of Steffisburg, Mark van Egmond).
Improving fish migration with new concepts
March 7, 2024

Which barriers need to be removed for the greatest benefit of migratory fish? Where do the measures make the most sense and how do the costs relate to the benefits?