Water – A vital resource under threat

©SDC

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

Current projects

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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.


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.


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.


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.  


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

01.11.2021 - 31.12.2022

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 - 30.04.2022

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.

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