The spring complex at Alpe Cardada called in Ticino dialect 'i fontan Veronic' consists of eight springs that gush out on the slope facing Minusio and feed the Rabissale stream. Over the centuries, they have mainly served as a supply for the needs of the alpine pastures. Since the 1970s, they have provided drinking water to the surrounding villages.
The fontinal environments are a meeting point between different worlds: between the groundwater, the spring outflows and the surrounding irrigated areas. Although they are small ecosystems, thanks to their special conditions, many springs have a rich biodiversity and are extremely valuable for ecological functions: they are unique living spaces due to the presence of very constant temperatures and humidity, which are peculiar prerequisites for highly specialised flora and fauna.
At the same time, historical, cultural and symbolic dimensions are also closely linked to the springs: these are intangible values as a place of strength, a source of life and rebirth. The issues of water as a 'common good' and the resource of drinking water are also increasingly topical. The lack of protection requirements and the modest quantities of water have led to a state of semi-abandonment of the Veroniche springs and their removal from the water network, thus opening up the possibility of synergies with the project of the pond above and the restoration of an evocative and precious place for nature protection.
The work consisted of: demolition and disposal of all obsolete parts, disused reservoirs and catchments; complete release of 4 springs with natural outflows (approx. 20l/min); wooden walkways with the possibility of crossing, feeling and touching the gushing water; and a water lifting system for the pond above powered by solar energy.
The renaturation of the Veroniche springs was developed by Dionea SA. The client of the works is Cardada Impianti Turistici SA, which financed the lifting system and the renaturation works with important support from the Department of Territory and the Patrician of Brione, Mergoscia and Minusio. The renovation of water catchment no. 8, the only one still in operation for the supply of drinking water to the Chiodo and Cordonico mountains, was carried out by the Minusio Municipality's Drinking Water Company according to the project by the Sciarini studio.