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 - 31.12.2020

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
WATER AND SANITATION
WATER AND SANITATION
WATER AND SANITATION
Water sector policy and administrative management
Water resources conservation (including data collection)
Water sector policy and administrative management
Water resources conservation (including data collection)
Water sector policy and administrative management
Administrative costs

01.01.2016 - 31.12.2020


CHF 2'000'000



Maximum cooperation needed to manage glacier melt in Central Asia

Two men working with specialist equipment on a glacier.

01.09.2014 - 31.12.2020

How to meet the needs of Central Asia’s 68 million inhabitants for water while respecting the glaciers overlooking Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan? The SDC’s project is building on voluntary regional cooperation and rigorous scientific monitoring of the changes taking place in the glaciers.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Central Asia
Water
Water diplomacy and security
Integrated water resource management (watershed)
Water economics (governance, finance, private sector)
WATER AND SANITATION
WATER AND SANITATION
WATER AND SANITATION
Water sector policy and administrative management
Water resources conservation (including data collection)
Water sector policy and administrative management

01.09.2014 - 31.12.2020


CHF 4'800'000



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
WATER AND SANITATION
WATER AND SANITATION
WATER AND SANITATION
Water resources conservation (including data collection)
Water sector policy and administrative management
Water sector policy and administrative management

01.05.2014 - 31.12.2017


CHF 900'000



Support to Decentralization in Ukraine

Water supply in an Ukrainian village.

01.05.2013 - 31.12.2017

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)
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
WATER AND SANITATION
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)
Basic drinking water supply and basic sanitation

01.05.2013 - 31.12.2017


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 - 30.06.2018

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)
HEALTH
HEALTH
WATER AND SANITATION
POPULATION POLICIES/PROGRAMMES AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
Health policy and administrative management
Basic health care
Basic health care
Basic drinking water supply and basic sanitation
Reproductive health care

01.02.2013 - 30.06.2018


CHF 9'970'000



Rural Water Supply and Sanitation 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)
WATER AND SANITATION
WATER AND SANITATION
WATER AND SANITATION
Basic drinking water supply and basic sanitation
Water sector policy and administrative management
Water sector policy and administrative management

01.01.2013 - 30.06.2018


CHF 6'157'000



Restoration of the Prespa Lake Ecosystem

The countryside around Lake Prespa.

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
WATER AND SANITATION
GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
WATER AND SANITATION
Water sector policy and administrative management
Water resources conservation (including data collection)
Environmental policy and administrative management
Water sector policy and administrative management
Water resources conservation (including data collection)

01.12.2011 - 30.06.2018


CHF 6'682'000



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)
WATER AND SANITATION
Basic drinking water supply and basic sanitation

01.04.2011 - 31.12.2020


CHF 2'050'000



Health Promotion Cabo Delgado

01.04.2017 - 31.12.2020

Switzerland contributed to health promotion in Cabo Delgado Province in Northern Mozambique by supporting the retention of health promotion workers, strengthening community involvement and the public finance management. Phase 2 of the project builds up on this and newly address Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in order to improve access and quality in the provision of health and WASH services targeting the 23 rural health posts in  three districts of the Province that are serving a total population of 570’000 people.


Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation Management in Tajikistan

01.03.2017 - 28.02.2021

Tajikistan is rich in water resources. However, drinking water is hardly accessible for the rural population or is of inadequate quality. Waterborne diseases are widespread and negatively influence population‘s health. Since a decade Switzerland is assisting the country to improve water governance both at community and policy levels. This project will improve access to and quality of drinking water and sanitation for 70000 people, living in isolated mountainous areas of Eastern Tajikistan.


Programme d’Hydraulique Rurale – Appui Au Secteur Eau et Assainissement (PHRASEA) Phase 2

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2021

Moins de 50% des nigériens ont accès à l’eau potable et seuls 7% disposent de conditions d'assainissement de base. La croissance démographique galopante, la dispersion de la population sur le territoire et la précarité des finances publiques sont des contraintes empêchant l'accès des populations à ces services de base. Le PHRASEA vient en appui aux efforts du gouvernement, en misant sur la maitrise d’ouvrage des communes.


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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