Water – A vital resource under threat

Mother and daughters operating a handpump in Chainpur in Nepal. The pump not only supplies the family with water but also waters the vegetable garden. © Panos/Caroline Penn

Global pressure on freshwater resources is mounting: demand is rising in spectacular fashion while availability, by definition, remains limited. One of the challenges of the 21st century is to manage this vital resource and ensure an equitable distribution of water that promotes development.  

Population growth, urbanisation, climate and land-use change, and economic development all have a direct impact on water resources. Distributing water between users while guaranteeing social equality, economic efficiency and environmental sustainability is a key development issue. The SDC has been active in the water sector for more than 30 years. Its efforts address a number of different aspects: social issues, the environment, the economy, institutions, technology and know-how.

Sustainable management

The SDC advocates the valuation of water in economic activities and transboundary cooperation on international water basins

International priority

The SDC is campaigning to have water security included among the sustainable development objectives and priorities on the post-2015 agenda

Universal access

The SDC works to guarantee access to water for human beings and ensure the availability of sufficient water for food production

Water – an element of security

The FDFA's lines of action on water and security, known as the Swiss toolbox, are a response to the challenge of increasing global demand for water.

SDC dedicated website on water

Specialist information (news, documents, instruments, methods) on knowledge exchange and cooperation with partners and experts.

www.sdc-water.ch

Documents

Current projects

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SuizAgua Colombia: Water footprint put into practice

Four children posing with their diploma of "guardian of water"

01.01.2016 - 31.03.2019

The project applies the water footprint (WFP) indicator to monitor and improve water use and to reduce the impacts of the business sector. Companies in Colombia have endorsed a corporate social and environmental responsibility plan that includes steps to improve their water management. Additionally, a multi-sector approach is used for the application of the WFP in Porce river watershed.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Colombia
Global
Latin America
Water
Integrated water resource management (watershed)
Water economics (governance, finance, private sector)
Integrated water resource management (watershed)
Water economics (governance, finance, private sector)
Water for agriculture and food
Water resources policy and advocacy

01.01.2016 - 31.03.2019


CHF 1'395'750



Water supply in Southern Sudan: (Re-)construction during the transition period

01.10.2014 - 31.03.2017

The project is intended to sustainably improve water supplies for the 720,000 inhabitants and their livestock in the Southern Sudanese state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal. Located near the border with Northern Sudan, this state is one of the poorest places on the planet. Since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between Northern and Southern Sudan was signed in 2005, it has become one of the main points of return for displaced persons from Southern Sudan.  

Country/region Topic Period Budget
South Sudan
Humanitarian Assistance
Water
Reconstruction and Rehabilitation
Drinking water and basic sanitation (WASH - Water for people)
Water resources policy and advocacy

01.10.2014 - 31.03.2017


CHF 5'400'000



Growing more coffee with less water in Vietnam

A Vietnamese farmer is keeping watch on coffee beans spread out in many rows on the ground to dry in the sun.

01.05.2014 - 31.12.2017

Growing coffee consumes vast quantities of water. In Vietnam, there are sometimes water shortages in the villages surrounding the plantations. The SDC is working with the Vietnamese authorities and food company Nestlé to encourage local coffee growers to optimise their water use.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Vietnam
Water
Integrated water resource management (watershed)
Water for agriculture and food
Water resources policy and advocacy

01.05.2014 - 31.12.2017


CHF 900'000



Better Living Conditions through Decentralisation in Ukraine

Water supply in an Ukrainian village.

01.05.2013 - 30.04.2017

More than 20 years after gaining independence, Ukraine remains a highly centralised state. In addition to its work to promote better local services, in particular in the area of water, Switzerland provides support for decentralisation at the national level by helping to draw up legislation based on experience gained through the DESPRO project.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Ukraine
Water
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
Drinking water and basic sanitation (WASH - Water for people)

01.05.2013 - 30.04.2017


CHF 9'330'000



Healthcare in the Great Lakes region: taking healthcare to the people

A baby being weighed in a consultation room.

01.02.2013 - 31.12.2017

Despite the political and humanitarian crisis Burundi is experiencing, the SDC remains committed to providing help directly to the people. In the health sector it aims to strengthen treatment capacity in health centres and district hospitals so that these can provide accessible, good-quality care. The SDC programme covers both Burundi and Rwanda.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
The Great Lakes Region
Health
Water
Health system strengthening
Primary health care
Drinking water and basic sanitation (WASH - Water for people)
Primary health care
Sexual and reproductive health (including mother and child health, family planning)

01.02.2013 - 31.12.2017


CHF 9'970'000



Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project in the Ferghana Valley

boys washing their hands

01.01.2013 - 30.06.2018

Rural areas in Uzbekistan lack an adequate supply of clean water.  A large proportion of Uzbekistan's rural population of 10 million people suffer from diseases caused by unclean water. A project funded by the SDC is helping people in rural areas help themselves. Villagers are learning how to organise their water supply themselves.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Uzbekistan
Water
Drinking water and basic sanitation (WASH - Water for people)
Water resources policy and advocacy
Water economics (governance, finance, private sector)

01.01.2013 - 30.06.2018


CHF 6'157'000



Restoration of the Prespa Lake Ecosystem

01.12.2011 - 30.06.2018

Lake Prespa is situated in the three-country border area of Albania, Macedonia, and Greece. Thanks to its biodiversity, the local ecosystem is of global significance. The widespread, improper disposal of waste is polluting both surface and ground water. The SDC is helping to decontaminate these waterways and to raise awareness of environmental issues.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Macedonia
Water
Environment
Environment protection
Integrated water resource management (watershed)
Water resources policy and advocacy
Integrated water resource management (watershed)
Water resources policy and advocacy

01.12.2011 - 30.06.2018


CHF 6'682'000



Construction of a new sewage and water network for Jerash refugee camp

01.12.2011 - 31.12.2018

In Jordan, some Palestinian refugees are living in what they initially considered as “temporary” homes. After four decades, the constantly increasing number of refugees and the absence of adequate measures to improve living conditions have led to serious health issues in the Jerash camp. One of the major problems is access to clean water and sanitation. SDC has initiated an ambitious project to solve this problem.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Jordan
Water
Drinking water and basic sanitation (WASH - Water for people)
Integrated water resource management (watershed)
Water for agriculture and food
Water resources policy and advocacy

01.12.2011 - 31.12.2018


CHF 5'845'000



Swiss Bluetec Bridge: Swiss start-ups benefit disadvantaged populations

01.04.2011 - 31.12.2020

The challenges involving water are creating opportunities for cutting-edgetechnological innovation. The SDC's Swiss Bluetec Bridge initiative supports these innovations to improve access to water for the poorest populations. The first start-up to benefit from a loan is the start-up company “Swiss Fresh Water” which has developed a low-cost system fordesalinating salty or brackish water.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Global
Water
Drinking water and basic sanitation (WASH - Water for people)

01.04.2011 - 31.12.2020


CHF 2'050'000



Resilience for Pastoralist Communities in Northern Kenya

01.08.2020 - 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.


Programme de Renforcement de la Gestion Locale de l’Eau Potable et l’Assainissement - REGLEAU

01.04.2018 - 31.12.2029

Aujourd’hui, seuls 58% des Haïtiens ont accès à l’eau potable et moins de 30% d’entre eux bénéficient de services de base d’assainissement. En cause, le manque de gouvernance et de capacité d’autofinancement du secteur. La DCC entend renforcer les capacités de gestion des municipalités et de la Direction Nationale d’Eau Potable et d’Assainissement (DINEPA) grâce à une meilleure maîtrise d’ouvrage au niveau des Collectivités Territoriales.


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

01.12.2016 - 31.12.2020

The role of UN-Water is to coordinate the UN system’s action on all water related issues, including sanitation. Therefore, UN-Water is key to bring a more effective, integrated and coordinated approach to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda with regards to water and sanitation. SDC’s support as core contribution is crucial to ensure that the political ambition of the 2030 Agenda for water has an efficient institutional setting.

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