Claude Turmes, Luxembourg's Minister for Spatial Planning, surrounded by members of the "Uewersauer Stauséikommissioun"; Credit: Frank Richarz, Upper Sûre Nature Park

On Tuesday 4 October 2022, the "Uewersauer Stauséikommissioun" (Upper Sûre Lake committee) met to take stock of the 2022 swimming season, in the presence of Luxembourg's Minister for Spatial Planning, Claude Turmes.

The committee deemed the swimming season at Upper Sûre Lake a success. The reservoir attracted numerous visitors from Luxembourg and abroad, not least because of the persistently sunny weather.

In terms of mobility, progress was made around the reservoir. In summer, the PC18 Heiderscheid - Heiderscheidergrund cycle path was extended to Esch-sur-Sûre. The hiking trails around the reservoir were also very popular; the "Stauséi-Navette" shuttle bus (RGTR line 155) was available to hikers in this area.

Marco Schank, Mayor of the municipality of Esch-sur-Sûre, emphasised that with the help of the two free car parks "Kéilert" in Insenborn and "Kräizbierg" in Lultzhausen and an automatic barrier system in connection with a free shuttle service to the beaches, his municipality could effectively guide visitors. "In this way, not only the experience for the visitors, but also the quality of life of the local residents could be improved", he elaborated.

Charles Pauly, President of the Upper Sûre Nature Park, took the opportunity to thank ranger Tom Schmit for his work: "Right from the start, Tom managed with his positive manner to bring the existing rules closer to the not always understanding visitors and thus to ensure a pleasant stay for all lovers of our region".

Moreover, the Roads Administration set up sixteen barbecue areas on the "Fuussefeld" sunbathing lawn. These barbecue areas cannot be reserved, but are available to all visitors.

Minister Turmes also expressed his satisfaction with the positive development of cooperation around the reservoir over the past few years: "With the founding of the 'Uewersauer-Stauséikommissioun' in 2020, coordination and cooperation between all stakeholders at state, regional and constantly improved at the local level. My special thanks go to everyone involved, in particular to the communities and the employees of the police, the CGDIS [Grand Ducal Fire and Rescue Corps], the Roads Administration, mobility, tourism and the Upper Sûre Nature Park. I am pleased that we were able to draw a positive conclusion from the 2022 season today. After [one] season is before the [next] season. With this in mind, the visitor experience will be steadily improved over the coming months so that the 2023 swimming season will also be a successful one".

All those involved are aware that there remains room for improvement for the 2023 season. This was evident not least during the weekend of 18 to 19 June 2022, when the Upper Sûre region experienced a huge rush of visitors, which led to the infrastructure being overloaded. In terms of security, the processes and reaction times of all responsible actors have been improved in recent years. Through the efficient and fast cooperation of all actors, the critical situation could be defused. A regional security concept is currently being drawn up under the direction of the Grand Ducal Fire and Rescue Corps (Corps grand-ducal d'incendie et de secours - CGDIS).

The future specification and implementation of the tourism and visitor management concept as well as the constant improvement of mobility in the reservoir region should also contribute to this. The Stauséi-Navette will have an additional stop at the dam in Liefrange and the expansion of the cycle path network will continue.

According to the Department of Spatial Planning, the constant goal of those responsible remains to simultaneously improve the tourist visitor experience and the quality of life of local residents and to guarantee the safety of everyone involved without nature and (drinking) water protection suffering as a result.