February 10, 2019
Plans by the Zurich cantonal government to allow the partial privatisation of water utilities and to give private land owners a greater say in river and lakeshore use have failed to win voters’ approval.
Official results show 54.6% of voters in canton Zurich defying recommendations by the main centre-right parties and the business community.
The political left, supported by environmental groups, had challenged a decision by the cantonal parliament last year that allowed for private citizen involvement in maintaining the water supply. Challengers warned that the law was paving the way for multinationals to commercialise the use of drinking water.
Opponents also argued that the amended law would undermine nature protection and limit public access to lake shores.
The campaign ahead of Sunday’s ballot was marked by controversy between the canton’s political parties, which are gearing up for next month’s parliamentary elections in canton Zurich.
News from SwissInfo