The supply of drinking water is vital to our survival. We should drink at least 1.5 litres of unsweetened beverages a day. In Switzerland there are about 3,000 water plants supplying drinking water. The cantons are responsible for ensuring the supply of water, and often delegate this task to the communes.
As water is so important, there are permanent measures in place to cope with a severe shortage. The Ordinance on the Guaranteed Supply of Drinking Water in Emergencies states that in an emergency all water companies must be able to supply 4 litres per person per day from the fourth day and 15 litres per person per day from the sixth day on. In the first three days, all citizens must be responsible for themselves. As many households do not keep the recommended emergency rations of 6 x 1.5 litre bottles of mineral water, at the FONES’ suggestion the Swiss Association of Mineral Sources and Soft Drink Producers has drawn up a series of measures to supply bottled drinking water in an emergency.
The Federal Office for the Environment, the cantons and the water companies are responsible for enforcing the Ordinance on the Guaranteed Supply of Drinking Water in Emergencies (EDWO, SR 531.32), which has been in force since 1 January 1992. The ordinance describes the measures that the cantons and water companies must take to ensure a sufficient supply of drinking water in a severe emergency.