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  • Swiss engineering has a reputation for being precise and reliable.

  • And the country has a reputation for being... not paranoid, exactly,

  • but at least taking a lot of precautions about their safety.

  • Switzerland is the only country in the world

  • with enough nuclear fallout shelters for the entire population.

  • Even now, it's a legal requirement that any new build house here

  • must have a shelter if it's not close enough to an existing one.

  • And okay, a lot of those shelters are being used mostly for storage these days,

  • probably for cheese, but if the world takes a dark path?

  • Switzerland is ready.

  • And that extends to this.

  • The drinking water.

  • I'm in Zurich, the largest city in Switzerland,

  • and it has an entire backup water supply system.

  • The city has hundreds of drinking fountains, free for public use,

  • of all sorts of designs.

  • And okay, most of them are fed from the same pipes as homes and offices:

  • it's mostly filtered water from nearby Lake Zurich,

  • with a bit of spring water and ground water mixed in.

  • It is, of course, some of the safest drinking water in the world.

  • Because Switzerland.

  • But in the event of an emergency:

  • let's say the lake was contaminated somehow,

  • or there's a days-long power cut that shuts all the pumps down:

  • not that that's likely, because the electricity supply is just as secure,

  • but if it happens: Zurich is still prepared.

  • There is an entire backup water system,

  • fed by nothing more than gravity from a spring on a nearby mountain.

  • It runs through 150 kilometres of pipes to taps in hospitals and fallout shelters,

  • and special drinking fountains like this.

  • These can all be adapted so they can fill a lot of buckets

  • in a very short amount of time

  • with nothing more than some hoses and scaffolding.

  • This water isn't being wasted, by the way.

  • I mean, it is, no-one's drinking it,

  • but if it wasn't going through these pipes

  • it'd just be joining a river and heading straight to the ocean by a different path.

  • Lots of cities maintain some level of redundant water supply:

  • some backup pipes, or emergency tankers in case everything fails.

  • But Zurich?

  • They have two systems, constantly tested,

  • always running together.

  • Just in case the world ends.

Swiss engineering has a reputation for being precise and reliable.

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