It bubbles, roars and sprays. Visitors to the Eifel Water Information Centre (WIZE) come up against it, even before they have entered the building. Once inside a system of pipes lead guests through the exhibition to the swish of quietly rushing water. There are presentations of water in all its manifestations to stimulate the imagination and encourage visitors to experiment themselves: as a life-giving element, as a source of power, and a shaper of landscapes. Guests of all ages will find it hard to resist the magic of water. Here you can try managing a water dam yourself and see how difficult it is. Or you can make tests to see how electricity is made from hydraulic power.
The Water Information Centre in Heimbach is directly adjacent to the second largest reservoir in Germany, the Rursee. The Eifel landscape with its system of reservoirs is therefore also one of the major themes of the centre. A computer-animated model of the Eifel on the site gives insights into various aspects of the system, such as the streams and lakes in the region, and its geology. What visitors can observe on a small scale, is occurring in real life just outside. Streams and rivers have been eating away at the Rhineland slate mountains for millions of years and have created several hundred metres of deeply carved valleys. The layers of clay and the weather-beaten slate create the ideal preconditions for building dams, of which there are quite a few around Heimbach. But before guests set out on a tour of the neighbourhood they can admire the many different living creatures to be found in domestic waters, in the centre´s aquariums and in dioramas, as well as finding out more about the cultural history of water. For when we turn the tap on, it is all too easy to forget what a luxury water is. Not only for early generations, but also nowadays. Getting access to clean drinking water still s very arduous task for most people.