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Department of Geography Hydrology and Climate

Excursion "Water in Zurich"

Zusammenfluss von Sihl und Limmat
Confluence of Sihl and Limmat at the Platzspitz during the flood event in August 2005 © AWEL, Kantonale Baudirektion Zürich/Kantonspolizei Zürich

The excursion is available in German only!

There may be different rules and notes for students visiting the excursion as part of a module. Please consider the corresponding information.

The self-guided smartphone excursion "Water in the City of Zurich" is available for everybody with an interest in scientifical, economical and social aspects of water in the city of Zurich. You need to install the free smartphone app Actionbound in order to visit the excursion.

Do you want to start directly? Scan the QR code with Actionbound and get access to the public version of the excursion immediately. More information is available below.

public QR code

Section A

  • Streams in the city of Zurich
  • Discharge estimations using the “pooh-stick-method"
  • Temporary streams at the foot of the Uetliberg

Section B

  • Lake of Zurich
  • History of the Schanzengraben and Sihlkanal
  • Fish ladder and Surface Water Conservation Act
  • Importance of the river Sihl for Zurich
  • Flood protection

Section C

  • Wells and fountains of Zurich and their history
  • Roman bath culture in Turicum
  • Rathausbrücke

Section D

  • Groundwater and drinking water
  • Hydrological measurements at the Limmat
  • Hydropower at the Letten powerplant
  • Specific discharge of the Sihl and the Limmat
  • Waterlevel estimation with CrowdWater

The excursion can be visited without any hydrological pre-knowledge. If there are exercises that cause difficulties, they can be skipped.

The length of the whole excursion is about seven hours. However, the excursion can be paused or cancelled at any time. If you visit the excursion using public transport, you need a day ticket of the ZVV zone 110. If public transport is used where recommended in the excursion, the walking distance is about 11 km.

Detailed information and instructions
Excursion "Water in the City of Zurich" (PDF, 852 KB)

Accompanying material in German (texts as PDF instead of on smartphone)
Accompanying material "Water in the City of Zurich" (PDF, 1009 KB)

Scientific publication about the self-guided excursion
Schwarzenbach, F. M.; Seibert, J., van Meerveld, H. J. I. (2022): Self-Guided Smartphone Excursions in University Teaching - Experiences fom Exploring "Water in the City". Frontiers in Environmental Science, 10. 10.3389/fenvs.2022.875712

For questions, please contact Franziska Clerc-Schwarzenbach

Weiterführende Informationen

The project is financed by the UZH Teaching Fund.

Water in Zurich