Water – A vital resource under threat

Global pressure on water resources is mounting: although demand is rising exponentially, there is limited availability. One of the challenges of the 21st century is to preserve this vital resource and ensure an equitable distribution of water that promotes development. As Europe’s water tower, Switzerland has proven expertise in water conservation, providing it considerable credibility in international cooperation.

Population growth, urbanisation, climate change, environmental pollution, changes in land use and economic development all have a direct impact on water resources. By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in regions with scarce water supplies. Distributing water in such a way as to ensure social equality, economic efficiency and environmental sustainability is a key development issue. The SDC has been addressing water issues for more than 30 years, including social aspects, the environment, the economy, governance, the promotion of innovation and technology, knowledge transfer and political dialogue as well as water and peace (Blue Peace).

Sustainable management

The SDC promotes the efficient use of water in economic activities and peaceful cooperation between countries over transboundary catchment areas

International priority

The SDC is working to achieve rapid implementation of the ‘water goal’ in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and greater international focus on sustainable water use

Right of access to water and sanitation

Through concrete projects and political dialogue, the SDC works to ensure implementation of the human right to water and sanitation

Blue Peace: Water as an asset for peace

Switzerland’s lines of action on water and security, known as the Swiss toolbox for Blue Peace, are a response to the challenge of increasing global demand for water

Water in Crisis

The protection of water is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today. Demand is rising but availability is stagnating. Switzerland is committed to ensuring access to drinking water, safe sanitation systems and equitable distribution.

SDC dedicated website on water

Information (news, documents, instruments, methods) relating to knowledge-sharing and cooperation with partners and experts.

www.sdc-water.ch

Documents

Current projects

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Contribution au Fond national pour l’eau, l’hygiène et l’assainissement au Niger

01.11.2021 - 31.12.2023

Les progrès réalisés dans le secteur de l’eau et de l’assainissement sont freinés par la forte croissance démographique. Le sous-financement du secteur ne permet pas d’améliorer significativement l’accès à l’eau et à l’assainissement. En contribuant au Fonds national pour l’eau, la Suisse appuie le gouvernement dans ses efforts; par son dialogue politique elle soutient la décentralisation du secteur, où elle a une forte valeur ajoutée. 


Contribution to Earth Security

01.10.2021 - 31.03.2025

This programme aims at catalysing new financial mechanisms and partnerships, including with the Swiss finance sector, which promote water-related ecosystem services of forests

as a ‘climate solution’ vital to the water cycle and to the benefit of society. While global in scope it will focus low and lower-middle income countries. It will leverage Swiss Know-How across the Federal Administration and contribute to the climate mainstreaming goal of the Dispatch 2021-24. 


Global Hydrometry Support facility (WMO HydroHub)

01.09.2021 - 31.08.2026

Reliable hydro-meteorological observations and forecasts are critical to implement better water resources management practices and policies, and reduce water insecurity. By pursuing its support to the Global Hydrometry Support facility, Switzerland will contribute to improving hydrological services in developing countries. By so doing, SDC will help save lives and trigger economic development derived from increased productivity and reduced asset losses. 


Promoting Water Stewardship 2030 (Phase Il)

01.06.2021 - 31.12.2024

Water stewardship promotes the sustainable and equitable management of freshwater resources among communities, businesses, utilities and investors. SDC supports the Alliance for Water Stewardship, the CDP Water Security Programme and Water Witness International synergistically to advocate for water stewardship particularly in developing countries. SDC is a forerunner in bringing together these key actors to increase outreach and impact.


Scaling-up improved sanitation – Bridging Phase Sanitation and Hygiene Fund (SHF)

01.05.2021 - 31.10.2022

Investments in Sanitation, Hygiene and Menstrual Health are crucial to achieving the SDGs. The recently launched and UN-led Sanitation and Hygiene Fund (SHF) aims to fill a gaping void in the international response to the sanitation, hygiene and menstrual health crisis. With this project, Switzerland supports the SHF in its operational set-up, starting country readiness work, resource mobilization and to become operational by early 2022


Territorial water governance in the Gulf of Fonseca Region - phase II

01.04.2021 - 30.06.2024

The Program facilitates the empowerment of the Watershed Councils of the Nacaome, Choluteca and Sampile rivers in the Gulf of Fonseca Region in terms of their leadership and sustainable and participatory management of the water governance system. This contributes to collaborative processes and investments in the frame of the formulation and implementation of watershed plans, indirectly benefiting 500,000 inhabitants.


Cryospheric Observation and Modelling for improved Adaptation in Central Asia (CROMO-ADAPT)

01.04.2021 - 31.12.2025

Climate change in Central Asia mountain regions will have significant impacts on water availability and occurrence of natural hazards. This project strengthens the glacier, snow and permafrost monitoring systems and capacities in Central Asia, develops user-oriented climate information services, and supports the planning of adaptation measures to increase resilience to climate change. The project builds on Swiss expertise in monitoring and adaptation in alpine water and disaster risk management.


Resilience for Pastoralist Communities in Northern Kenya

01.03.2021 - 31.07.2025

Pastoralism is a millennia old livelihood strategy adapted to the marginal and harsh environ-ments of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL). In order to support pastoralists, this programme contributes to strengthening public and private institutions in the water and livestock sectors, putting policy frameworks in place to ensure efficient county-wide and cross-border water and rangeland management systems, and to increase access to water and pasture.


Financing Basin Development at Municipal Level (Localized Blue Peace)

15.02.2021 - 31.12.2024

Whit this contribution, Switzerland catalyses the set-up of a technical assistance facility, managed by the United Nations Capital Development Fund. Based on Swiss experience, municipalities in developing countries are supported in managing innovative water-related multi-sector projects in the context of wider basin development (localized Blue Peace). Inclusive economic development based on a self-sustaining financing model will be enhanced.


Investing in UN-Water: accelerating progress on SDG 6

01.02.2021 - 31.12.2025

UN-Water is the ‘one voice’ of the UN system on all water and sanitation related issues. It is responsible for the monitoring and reporting of SDG 6 and strengthens the global water agenda. By maintaining its support to UN-Water, the SDC helps to reduce the fragmentation of the water sector and contributes to accelerating the achievement of SDG 6, thus keeping its global commitment towards the 2030 Agenda. 


RWSN - Rural Water Supply Network

01.02.2021 - 31.07.2022

Universal access to safe, affordable water is at the core of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 and key to the realisation of human rights. However, achieving this in rural areas is particularly challenging given the high levels of poverty and discrimination as well as poor infrastructure. The Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) is the only global network that offers powerful mechanisms to share expertise and collaborate with local and global partners to effectively address these water issues. 


Boosting decentralized water solidarity mechanisms at the Swiss and global level - Bridging Phase solidarit’eau suisse

15.01.2021 - 15.07.2022

Today, still about 2 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water and 2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation. Municipalities and water utilities can play a key role in mobilizing additional financial resources and know-how into water supply and sanitation in developing countries through a solidarity mechanism. This bridging credit will help to transform and relaunch the platform solidarit’eau suisse to evolve towards a financially sustainable initiative. 

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