G3 Inn / Engadine



Nils Ferrand à irstea fr
CAroline Sourzac-Lami à irstea fr

Angelika Abderhalden-Raba
FUNDAZIUN PRO TERRA ENGIADINA /     www.proterrae.ch

Membres du groupe de travail

  • Sarah Gautier
  • Adrien Jacquier
  • Olivier Hussain
  • Aidan Roux Melet
  • Paul Sadia

  • A consulter:
  1. Document de synthèse adressé par email
  2. http://www.proterrae.ch/

Présentation générale

Engadine is a region, located in the southern-eastern part of Switzerland, inside the Swiss Alps. This dry valley is situated in the Grison canton and has a shared border with Austria at the eastern part of the country. A border which is crossed by the Inn River from his main source, 100km ahead, the Upper Engadine Valley.

The Inn river is 517km long and creates particular alpine ecosystems along his streams. In a region that suffers from global warming, the Inn River’s basin created an attractive region, in terms of biodiversity, and also in term of touristic influx.

 Engadine, though having 20% of their economy dedicated to Industry and Commerce, is a sector that relies mostly on the tourism. Each sector has an important impact on the region's water stock, and it tends to cause droughts when the years are dry. It is the reason, each actor innovates/renovates their methods, in an eco-friendly way, as to reduce the pollutions in that river and bring water wasting to a minimum.

Carte de référence

Schéma spatial

Analyse des enjeux

The main stakes in the Engadine’s basin are to handle the different needs in terms of water stock in that region for the various sectors. These sectors are, in order: the Agriculture, the touristic activity and the Industry (mostly the hydroelectric dams). The water stock distribution has to respect the water part necessary for the conservation of biodiversity, ecosystems that have been defined very precious by WWF-Switzerland.


Despite not being the most impactful on biodiversity, the touristic activity remains a dynamic sector and therefore needs a constant supply in water to answer the massive influx of tourists especially during the summer. During that period of time, thousands of tourists flood the littoral, practice a lot of water activities. That leads to a deterioration of the ecosytems (primarily the aquifers) in places that haven’t been impacted by the expansion of Industry.

The Subsistence agriculture represents the major part of the Agriculture in this region, and despite being the less water consuming type of culture, the overall water consummation is rather high. This is explained by the Commercial Agriculture, based on productivity and geared towards exportation, requiring considerable amounts of water.

This resource is used in the different way:

·       Irrigation: Cultivators irrigate their lands to fight summer droughts, a recurring and increasing issue, enhanced by Global warming. Until 15 years ago, the Grison’s canton’s authorization wasn’t required for redirecting the river for the sole purpose of irrigation.

·       Fertilizers and Pesticides: These compounds, while not being used by the major part of the Basin’s Agriculture, are frequently used in the exploitations in the valleys near the cities. This can lead to water pollutions, which after infiltration, will find their way to the basin’s exit near the Drinking water catchments. In response, the canton have decided zones where Fertilizers and Pesticides usage is forbidden.

·       Drainage: It is no longer authorized to dry swamps and bogs.

The electric plants seem to be the main source of harmful compounds. They were implemented in the 1930’s and Inn’s river hosts the Switzerland’s 2nd biggest plant in Seriol (1020GWh). The electric plants are scattered all over the basin and lead to the constant decay of natural Alpine ecosystems since 14 out of the 19 plants have harmful impacts in terms of water pollution. Moreover, the dams restrain the sediments, which causes a disrupt in the river’s ecological cycle, by blocking the bentics macroinvertebrates’s trophic network.

Analyse sociale et politique - Acteurs

Schéma fonctionnel Acteurs / Enjeux / Ressources

Ressources considérées

In this basin, where the income of water is a recurrent stake, this resource is to be considered the most important of our design. In fact, it is the only limited resource in the Grison’s canton, since the flourishing economy grants enough budget to invest in water-saving innovations in the different sectors. Money, despite not being a limited resource, needs to be taken into count, not only for the cost of each infrastructure, but also to show the weight of each sector in the economy and therefore how can their needs of water be ranked. Quantifying the political and population’s support is important here, since it is a good indicator of each party’s implication in the subject. The next one is a factor representing the extent and quality of Ecosystems in the river, which is convenient to represent the impacts of the decisions taken as part of the green policy in the Dam’s industry. 

Beyond the concept of money, the factor that profits from the innovations in our model is the Regional Economy.

Modèle des acteurs - rôles

Modèle des actions

Structure du modèle et du jeu

Our game is constituted by a principal river with four dams along it, each dam has a typical capacity written on the plateau. We placed four field for each other actor (Agriculture/Summer Tourism/Winter Tourism/power plants) near the river ; if there is more players we can add another farmer. In each field the initial water consumption is 4 unity/field and pollution taxes is 6HD (hydro dollars) by field. We represent it with a blue dice for the water and a red dice for the pollution tax. One player is chosen to play the bank with a sheet of paper for all the game.

In this region the major problem is the lack of water during the summer and the important number of dams witch impact the environment (sediment trap, fish migration…). So we will play just during the arid region (one round is one summer) ; at the beginning of each round all dams are full of water. Each dams have 2 quantity of sediment at the beginning of the game, for example if a dam has a capacity of 10unity and there is 2unity of sediment, it will remain just 8unity available to receive water. The quantity of sediment can increase with a chance card effect and decrease with a dam amelioration power plant action (creation of sediment bricks).

All the players have an initial stock of money of 50HD for the industry and 40HD for the others, it represents the benefit of two years.

In the first time, we take a chance card and apply the effect (we detail it in the part Règlesspécifiques du jeu). Then, each player had to pay his respective tax pollution (it represent the sum of all his red dice) and create all the improvement than he wants (to reduce his water consumption and tax pollution), in the limit of his budget. After, we roll a dice to determine the precipitation with a table (cf:). We supposed than all the water falls in the summit of the river, after it flows until the outlet and all the player take the water than he needs for his fields. Dams can relieve water but they need to be half-full at the end of the round. At the outlets we need to have ¼ of the initial precipitation, if it’s not respected all the players have to pay an expensive fine: 10HD/player.When all the water is distributed, each player wins his benefit for all his alimentedfield and the next round can start.

If one player hasn’t enough money to continue the game, everybody loses. Players can’t exchange money; they need to be careful to don’t exclude someone.


We will detail a scenario of 4 players during 5 rounds:

  • We pick the chance card: “You organize a photographic saloon => + 5HD for the Summer tourism and less 3 water (deducted directly on the future precipitation).
  • All the players paid his respective fine tax and created 2 or 3 amelioration like: rainwater recuperation / permaculture / green camping… So they modify their water consummation and tax pollution (represented with the blue and red dice).
  • We rolle a dice to determine the precipitation: here we have a 5, so it’s a big rainfall with normally 66 unity of water, but 63 here because of the effect of the chance card.
  • The water flows and every field was correctly alimented.
  • Everybody earn his money and there is enough water at the outlets.

2nd round:
  • Chance card: +1 quantity of sediment for each dams.
  • Everybody paid his pollution tax and do some amelioration, and the power plants players buy the sediment bricks technology.
  • Precipitation dice = 2 ; so 40 unity of water.
  • The water flows but 2 fields (Summer and Winter tourism) at the end aren’t alimented to guaranty the correct quantity of water at the outlets.
  • Every alimented field return money to his owner
  • Players discuss about the next dry summer: how to do and if there is not enough water who will be un-alimented.

3rd round:
  • Chance card: Your region was elected the best Switzerland region => +3HD for everybody.
  • Everybody pay tax pollution and do amelioration. The power plant player takes out some sediments.
  • P=>50unity of water=> vote cantonal=>It’s the second following dry summer, so the vote about upping the ski slopes takes places. The vote is refused. He can’t do this action (more details in the part:règlesspécifiques du jeu).
  • 1 agriculture and one summer tourismfield are not alimented. Players all anticipated this lack of water and choose two field which has been alimented the last summer. The water quantity is respected at the outlets.

4th round:

  • Chance card: Your region organises the winter Olympics game=> +5HD for winter tourism and less 5 unity of water (deducted directly on the future precipitation).
  • Everybody pay tax pollution and do amelioration. All the dams are ameliorated.
  • Precipitation dice = 5; so 66 unity of water, but 61 with the chance card effect.
  • All the field are alimented

5th round:
  • Chance card: Boreholes can’t be used this round because of pollution. So winter tourism will use more water (the boreholes amelioration won’t count this round).
  • Everybody pay tax pollution and do amelioration.
  • P=1 very dry summer =>30unity of water
  • 2 fields aren’t alimented. The water quantity is respected at the outlets.

At the end of the game, every player has enough money and all the dams are ameliorated. So they win the game.


The most difficult part was about water use proportion between the different actors. We knowthe percentage of each actor on the economy, for example agriculture is about 5% of the economy and tourism is like 75%. But we know than agriculture and meat production use a lots of water. To simplify we choose than everybody consumes the same quantity of water, 4unity by field.

In this Engadine region there is no real pollution problem, but all the actors create other problems like: impact on the landscape, fish migration, birds disturbed, pesticides… So we regroup all of these effect on the tax pollution, which is 6/field.

At the beginning of the game, the total earing is lower than the pollution tax, it has an effect to force players by doing amelioration. We fixe an initial budget corresponding at the benefice of two years.

Furthermore, we calibrated the action cards like if a field as all the amelioration, it’s steel consuming a bit of water and have a small pollution tax; there is just an exception for the winter tourism which have a lots of possibility to reduce his water consumption but, one field is obligated to use at least 1 unity of water.

The amelioration’s effect is immediate because we are playing in animportant scale of time, excepted for some action which need researches like the amelioration of artificial snow (the duration is detailed on the card).

In general, an amelioration cost 2 or 3 HD. When it’s 2HD it has for effect to decrease one thing (water or pollution tax). When it’s 3HD it’s has for effect to decrease two things: it can be 2 water, 2 pollution tax or both of one.

We introduce the chance card to create some unexpected effect which can be grateful or not and to add more fun on the game. The rainfall is in the same logic with the rolling dice.

If the result of the dice is between 4 and 6 all the field could be alimented, with the guaranty of the restitution of ¼ of the initial precipitation at the outlets if you add dams water. But if the result of the dice is between 1 and 3 it will be more complicated for the players to aliment all the different fields and to have enough water on the river. If all the field have ameliorated as much as possible they will resist for whatever dice result. Furthermore, we choose to put the precipitation after the amelioration investment to don’t influence the player about what he is able to do this round.

Règles spécifiques du jeu

Our game contains some specific rules which are listed below:
  • One of the objective of the game, is that every dams have to be ameliorated after 5 round (just the power plant player can do this action).
  • If one field is not alimented, the owner has to pay his tax pollution but he doesn’t earn money.
  • If there is two dry summer a la suite, a cantonal vote takes place automatiquelly about ascending ski slopes. To know the result of the vote, the winter player rolls a dice: if the result is between 4 and 6 the vote is accepted he is obligated to do this action for all his field. If it refused, he can’t do this action.
  • It’s impossible to do the same action two time on the same field.
  • If one field isn’t alimented two summer a la suite, the owner has to pay 12HD to make it works again. He has to pay the tax pollution in all the case.
  • Winter tourism began to play for each round, because he plays at the end of the winter and all the other are playing during summer.

Résultats du test

In this test, we saw that players have an easier discussion to guaranty the good water quantity at the outflow. When there is 2 following dry summer, it is hard for players because of the lack of money and to be sure of the alimentation of the past un-alimented field. They talk each other to stave together. They feel the impact of the weather on their own money with the hard decision between: investment, benefit and risk.

Actions stratégiques complémentaires

There is an alternative strategy, that consists in participating in the green policy at the first rounds so to reduce the amount of fines received, and when the incomes become superior to the fines, the actor stops cooperating, plays on his own and simply focus on his benefits.

Proposition de stratégie COOPLAN (ES)

Liste cooplan 2.2

Test COOPLAN dans le jeu

The strategy described by the Cooplan was tested.
The strategy is based on cooperation between the actors in trying to respect the european laws about pollution by changing their green policy. The game has been designed so that an actor has to cooperate and participate in the process of modifying their ways, otherwise they won't be able to cope with the taxes for polluting, and the global fine for the required amount of water at the exhaust.


Vidéo YouTube

That project we realised on the Inn/Engadine region shows the complexity of the integrated management of the water resource. Indeed, we rapidly realised that the great number of actors represent a source of conflict about the water stock and its management.

Modelling this case was a good challenge that enriched all of us in understanding how the water management behind a river basin works and taught us teamwork and cooperation.

That resulted in a model that allows a good comprehension of how the basin works and what are the issues that the latter suffers from. Issues such as the environmental and economic impacts of an activity.

We think that the management system of water through an interactive model is very effective because it allows and encourages communication and synergy between the players and represent a great help in decision making. The decision making process tries to be democratic with the implement of voting, so to prevent any bashing on a player. This system applies to all kind of situations and is quite modular, and brings innovative answers to the issues suffered from each of the players when dealing with water stocks. Furthermore, it is a mean of showing the players a foreseeable future to help them take their decisions knowingly of the resulting impacts on short and long term.

Finally, our group is made of students coming from different specialities of the Eau Master, and this project greatly benefitted from the variety of ideas and ways of thinking that each participant gave.

Documents supports (types)

- carte générale
- usages du sol
- hydrographie
- données hydro / pluvio
- distrib de populations
- activités économiques
- productivité des activités agricoles
- données tourisme quand c'est le cas
- données conso urbaine (type SONEDE) si dispo
- tous rapports sur le cas
- des photos éventuellement