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

Universal access

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

Object 1 – 12 of 286

Maximum cooperation needed to manage glacier melt in Central Asia

Two men working with specialist equipment on a glacier.

01.05.2017 - 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
Water sector policy
Water resources conservation

01.05.2017 - 31.12.2020


CHF 1'200'000



Access to drinking water: a challenge in Tajikistan

Three children around a fountain.

01.03.2017 - 28.02.2021

In Tajikistan, the poorest country in Central Asia, half of the 8.5 million inhabitants do not have access to drinking water. In mountainous and rural regions, the figure reaches 80%. This situation poses a serious risk to public health. The SDC's project on 'Safe drinking water and sanitation management in Tajikistan' (SWSMT) focuses on access to drinking water and sanitation in the east of the country.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Tajikistan
Governance
Water
Decentralisation
Water supply
Water sanitation
Public sector policy

01.03.2017 - 28.02.2021


CHF 5'300'000



Sustainable water and pasture management to alleviate the plight of Ethiopian pastoralists

A group of Ethiopian men and women beside a half dried-up pool of water, using picks and shovels to dig new basins.

01.06.2015 - 31.08.2020

Drought, fodder scarcity and conflicts over natural resources make life difficult for pastoralists in southern Ethiopia. The SDC has taken various measures to improve their food security and their resilience to crisis situations, ranging from the rehabilitation of pastureland and water points to the introduction of land use plans and the diversification of income sources for women.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Ethiopia
Agriculture & food security
Conflict & fragility
Climate change and environment
Water
Agricultural development
Agricultural land resources
Conflict prevention
Environmental policy
Disaster risk reduction DRR
Water resources conservation

01.06.2015 - 31.08.2020


CHF 8'553'920



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

01.10.2014 - 30.09.2017

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 & DRR
Water
Reconstruction and rehabilitation (till 2016)
Drinking water and basic sanitation (WASH) (til 2016)
Water sector policy

01.10.2014 - 30.09.2017


CHF 5'400'000



Blue Peace Central Asia Strengthening of the Regional Institutional Framework for Integrated Water Resources Management in Central Asia

01.09.2014 - 31.07.2022

In response to the explicit demand of the five Central Asian States, and building on over 20 years of cooperation in the field of water, SDC facilitates transboundary water resources cooperation consistent with the Blue Peace approach implemented in the Middle-East and at the global level through the establishment of a High Level Dialogue Platform, the promotion of sustainable water practices as well as capacity building of a new generation of water professionals and champions.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Central Asia
Water
Climate change and environment
Water diplomacy and security
Meteorological services
Water resources conservation
Water sector policy

01.09.2014 - 31.07.2022


CHF 6'000'000



Public Private Partnership to Improved Sanitary Education in Ukraine

Two plumbers are cutting a pipe with a machine in a workshop.

01.07.2014 - 31.07.2018

This public-private partnership, developed in collaboration with the company Geberit, aims to improve vocational training in the field of sanitary technology in Ukraine, which will provide more employment opportunities for young plumbers. A new model will be developed to achieve this, based more on practical training and market needs, and will be tested in pilot schools before being rolled out across the country with support from the Ministry of Education.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Ukraine
Water
Vocational training
Other
Drinking water and basic sanitation (WASH) (til 2016)
Vocational training
Sector not specified

01.07.2014 - 31.07.2018


CHF 400'000



Water management and peace promotion in the Middle East: Water as a source of peace

01.12.2013 - 30.06.2016

Since 2009, Switzerland has been involved in a new type of cooperation which combines peace promotion and the sustainable management of water resources in the Middle East. This region is experiencing a major crisis caused by the decline in quality and the progressive drying up of numerous common water resources. An independent report published in 2011 established that the sustainable management of cross-border water resources on a political level could not only avoid natural disasters and human tragedies but could even develop into a means of promoting peace.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Near East
Other
Water
Agriculture & food security
Conflict & fragility
Water diplomacy and security
Water sector policy
Agricultural water resources
Conflict prevention
Water resources conservation

01.12.2013 - 30.06.2016


CHF 3'048'000



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
Governance
Water
Decentralisation
Drinking water and basic sanitation (WASH) (til 2016)

01.05.2013 - 31.12.2017


CHF 9'330'000



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) (til 2016)
Water sector policy

01.01.2013 - 30.06.2018


CHF 6'157'000



SuizAgua Colombia: Water footprint put into practice

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

01.06.2012 - 31.05.2015

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
Switzerland
Colombia
Water
Education
Vocational training
Water resources conservation
Basic life skills
Vocational training

01.06.2012 - 31.05.2015


CHF 1'018'000



Uzbekistan: Upscaling of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) with the World Bank “Rural Enterprise Support Project” (RESPII)

RESPII - Training courses for accountants of WCAs in Tashkent province, conducted in Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Melioration within the “Rural Enterprise Support Project II”

01.03.2012 - 31.12.2015

SDC’s contribution focuses on the soft component of this major World Bank (WB) irrigation project, and further promotes Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), strengthens capacities of 7 Administrations of Irrigation Systems (AIS) and 65 Water Consumer Associations (WCA), establishes and equips 62 Farmer Field Schools (FFS) to disseminate best water saving practices.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Central Asia
Water
Agriculture & food security
Water resources conservation
Agricultural water resources
Agricultural development

01.03.2012 - 31.12.2015


CHF 5'309'000



Restoration of the Prespa Lake Ecosystem

The countryside around Lake Prespa.

01.12.2011 - 31.12.2018

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
Climate change and environment
Water
Environmental policy
Water resources conservation
Water sector policy

01.12.2011 - 31.12.2018


CHF 6'682'000


Object 1 – 12 of 286