Tourist resorts are urban places characterised by specificities such as fluctuation of population or strong peaks of resource consumption. These characteristics have an effect on the management of water infrastructure networks which provide water to permanent residents but which must also be capable of serving populations sometimes seven to ten times larger for periods of a few weeks. This article analyses the strategies of a municipality in managing its water network in such a context. I aim to understand how municipalities function with legal arrangements generally defined at supra-municipal level and rarely adapted to the case of tourist resorts. Through a case study conducted in Crans-Montana (canton of Wallis, Switzerland), I show how the implementation of a Local Regulatory Arrangement (ARL) allows municipalities to materialise legal measures while allowing actors to reinterpret, to bypass or to supplement formal rules with the implementation of an efficient local arrangement.
By Christian Bréthaut