The Hagneck canal
21 June 2021
The rivers and lakes in the Three-Lakes area (das Drei-Seen-Land, le Pays des Trois-Lacs) were ingeniously adjusted in the years 1868-1891 and 1962-1971 in the Juragewässerkorrektion/ la correction des eaux du Jura.
It was and is a unique pioneering project for the development of the region. Between 1868 and 1891, the water level of the three lakes of Murten, Neuchâtel and Biel was lowered by metres using a system of canals.
The core of the project was the eight-kilometre-long canal from Aarberg to Hagneck (Canton Bern). The Aare was diverted from Aarberg via this canal to Lake Biel (Bielersee/lac de Bienne).
From Aarberg, the Aare still flows to Büren, but with a much smaller volume and is called the Alte Aare since 1891. The Alte Aare is a canal from Büren till Nidau and flows into Lake Biel.
In contrast to the Nidau-Büren canal, which is a river rectification, the Aarberg-Hagneck canal is a new waterway.
The two other new canals between the three lakes are the Broye Canal between the lakes of Murten and Neuchâtel and the Zihl Canal (Thielle in French) between the lakes of Neuchâtel and Biel.
(See also: www.swiss-spectator.ch/the-jura-water-management/ and www.schlossmuseumnidau.ch).