The skiing industry is of significant economic importance for mountain areas in Switzerland. Snowmaking and piste maintenance are indispensable to meet the demands of modern winter tourism but require large amounts of water and energy. Unfortunately, this demand is concentrated to the winter months which are anyway affected by a shortage of energy and water supply.
The project aims to focus on the resources consumption of alpine ski resorts and to develop strategies and tools which help to manage water and energy consumption of ski destinations. Snow cover models will be used to simulate processes related to snowmaking and snow dynamics of ski runs. This will help to optimize settings for snowmaking, to reduce water losses and to limit amounts of technical snow production to intrinsically required quantities. We will develop a model chain that, on the one hand, can be applied as a support tool for daily snow management in ski resorts and on the other hand, can be used to study impacts of changing boundary conditions such as climate warming. Additionally, extended field campaigns are being performed.
To reach our goals we closely cooperate with practical partners such as ski resorts, municipalities and industry. The project is part of the Swiss competence center for energy research – supply of energy (SCCER-SoE).