Strengthening the international focus on sustainable water use

A report entitled 'A Matter of Survival' is on the table.
Launch of the final report of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace in Geneva. © Presence Switzerland FDFA

The SDC is working to ensure that the ‘water goal’ in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is implemented rapidly and that water is afforded greater prominence at the international level. Switzerland's actions are based on the firm belief and its own experience that the sustainable management of water resources is essential to promote social, economic and environmental development and to maintain global peace.

SDC Focus

International efforts have already given rise to major improvements, for example in relation to drinking water and sanitation services. However, the results are still insufficient. At present, 844 million people still lack access to clean water. Furthermore, one-third of the world's population is still living without adequate sanitation facilities.

The SDC is committed to strengthening the implementation of the ‘water goal’ enshrined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Alongside a group of countries, the SDC is supporting global political dialogue to ensure that international obligations are met and specific activities undertaken that will help achieve this goal. With its many years of experience in water management, Switzerland is making a considerable contribution to identifying comprehensive transboundary solutions. Moreover, the SDC is strengthening the voice of young people in policy dialogue both regionally and globally, for they are the potential water specialists of the future.

Water management is a particularly complex issue and one which the international community is addressing: Switzerland possesses broad expertise in this field. As stretches of two major European rivers, the Rhône and the Rhine, flow through the country, and a number of lakes extend across its borders, Switzerland has long experience in transboundary water management and can assist in developing solutions for other parts of the world.

Background

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: a stand-alone ‘water goal’

Under the auspices of the SDC, Switzerland worked successfully together with a coalition of other countries to have water included as a stand-alone objective in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Goal 6 covers the protection and restoration of water-related ecosystems as well as access to drinking water, sanitation facilities and hygiene. A further objective is to promote cross-border cooperation between states in order to ensure comprehensive water resources management that involves all users at all levels.

Water and human development

If a reliable supply of drinking water and access to adequate sanitation services are guaranteed, the population is more likely to remain in good health, thus reducing medical costs, while healthier children mean lower school absenteeism rates. Water points located close to human settlements help save precious time – time otherwise devoted to fetching water, a task often assigned to women and children.

Water is also essential to ensuring the livelihoods of people in rural areas, producing food and energy, and driving growth in industry and the services sector.

Furthermore, shortages of water can give rise to tension or even conflicts. 153 states share rivers, groundwater reserves or lakes with one or more neighbouring countries. Rivalries over water therefore have direct repercussions for peace and security. By contrast, commonly agreed, peaceful management fosters peace and stability.

Documents

Current projects

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Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership to achieve a water-secure world for all

01.07.2026 - 31.12.2030

The Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership (GWSP) of the World Bank Water Global Practice is a global partnership with the objective to address the water and sanitation challenge in an integrated manner, as set out by the Global Sustainable Development Goal 6. This SDC support will promote innovative global knowledge production and exchange, dialogue and partnerships, as well as country-level support across regions at global scale.


UN-Water: Strengthening the Global Water Architecture for the effective achievement of the 2030 Agenda

01.01.2026 - 31.12.2030

UN-Water has now firmly established itself as a major actor in water and in coordinating UN agencies to speak as one voice for water. SDC’s support to UN-Water’s core budget is crucial to ensure that the political ambition of the 2030 Agenda for water and its related targets has an efficient institutional setting allowing an integrated monitoring and an efficient follow-up and review and strong coordination between UN agencies. UN-Water will be key to bring a more effective, integrated and coordinated approach to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda with regards to water and sanitation and to review progress.


Solar Irrigation for Agriculture Resilience (SoLAR)

01.07.2024 - 31.07.2027

To adapt to climate change farmers rely increasingly on irrigation, ultimately depleting groundwater resources and raising energy demand. The project aims to address these challenges by promoting solar irrigation, water efficient agriculture and groundwater governance. The project will harness Swiss expertise on hydrogeology and technical innovations to contribute to climate resilient agriculture and facilitate knowledge sharing in South Asia and at the global level.


Sustainable water management for food security and nutrition in agriculture and food systems

01.07.2023 - 31.03.2027

Agriculture accounts globally for 70% freshwater use. Inefficient water use, water pollution, climate change and increasing global water demand puts agriculture under pressure, as well for smallholders. SDC can build on successful experiences in this domain and will support projects in Africa in ecologically sustainable water management in smallholder agriculture and food systems, improve smallholders’ economic and social situation and increase the resilience of their livelihoods.


Blue Peace: Unlocking the value of transboundary, multisectoral and transgenerational investments

01.07.2023 - 31.12.2029

In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals government efforts do not suffice, large private capitals deployed towards development are needed. Switzerland has a comparative advantage as innovative finance hub. Building on this, SDC contributes to the development of innovative financial products that enable transboundary, multisectoral and transgenerational investments with aim to contribute to sustainable development and peace.


Research for action

01.08.2022 - 31.12.2030

The 2017 Joint Monitoring Report, published in July, states that serious efforts have been made since the Millennium Development Goals to improve access to safe water and sanitation around the world. However, disparities remain, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and for the rural poor, more drastic for sanitation. This project aims to reduce this gap, by supporting applied research, transformative innovations, capacity development and networking, which will answer to the needs and requirements of the targeted population.


Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation Management

01.03.2022 - 28.02.2026

The project will allow people to use safe and affordable drinking water as well as equitable sanitation and hygiene thereby progressing towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 in Tajikistan. An integrated planning approach supports the building of the local and national capacities and strengthen the policy frameworks to enable sustainable Water Sanitation and Hygiene WASH services to the population of Eastern Khatlon and Gorno-Badakshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO).


Sustainable Natural Resources Management (NRM) for Enhanced Pastoralist Food Security in the Borana Zone, Ethiopia.

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2027

Natural resources, particularly water and pasture, are among the key determinants of pastoralist livelihoods’ sustainability. The proposed Project contributes to the outcomes of the SDC’s Food Security Domain as stipulated in the Swiss Cooperation Strategy Horn of Africa. It aims at improving pastoralist food security and adaptive capacities in the lowlands of Borana Zone, Southern Ethiopia, through enhancing the sustainable management of natural resources.


City-to-City Partnership Hawassa – Lugano

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2026

This contribution supports an innovative Swiss-Ethiopian municipal twinning partnership to enhance capacity at the sub-national level to manage access to drinking water in good quantity and quality according to the Sustainable Development Goal 6.1 and 6.3 in underserved communities. The partnership will be accompanied by a research and education component, involving local and Swiss innovative university partnerships.


Contribution to Swiss Water Partnership (SWP)

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2025

The Swiss Water Partnership is a multi-stakeholder platform bringing together Swiss organizations from the academic, civil society including youth, public and private sectors, to join forces and find innovative solutions for water challenges in developing and transition countries. Umbrella of Swiss water stakeholders at the international level, carrying the diversity of the Swiss voice, the SWP is an important complementary partner to SDC to accelerate the 2030 water agenda.


GVCD - Gaza Vulnerable Communities Development Programme

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2024

Through the Gaza Vulnerable Communities Development Programme, Switzerland contributes to covering basic needs and fostering social cohesion in the Gaza Strip. The successful intervention model applied in the 1st Phase is extended and scaled up under this 2nd Phase. Small infrastructure projects addressing basic needs of vulnerable communities serve as an entry point for a local dialogue on development priorities, enabled through building the capacities of both duty bearers and right holders, including youth and women.


RAPID+ The Kenya Arid Lands Partnership for Integrated Development Plus

01.11.2021 - 31.10.2026

Pastoralist communities in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) have for a very long time adapted to the harsh environments to derive livelihoods (mainly livestock). Communities in the ASALs are facing multiple pressures of climate change, degraded natural resources and conflicts. This program supports the historically marginalised and under-developed pastoralist communities in Northern Kenya to access safe, reliable and affordable Water and manage their rangeland ecosystem sustainably.  

Object 1 – 12 of 124