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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Resilience for Pastoralist Communities in Northern Kenya

01.03.2021 - 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.


Financing Basin Development at Municipal Level (Localized Blue Peace)

15.02.2021 - 31.12.2024

Whit this contribution, Switzerland catalyses the set-up of a technical assistance facility, managed by the United Nations Capital Development Fund. Based on Swiss experience, municipalities in developing countries are supported in managing innovative water-related multi-sector projects in the context of wider basin development (localized Blue Peace). Inclusive economic development based on a self-sustaining financing model will be enhanced.


Investing in UN-Water: accelerating progress on SDG 6

01.02.2021 - 31.12.2025

UN-Water is the ‘one voice’ of the UN system on all water and sanitation related issues. It is responsible for the monitoring and reporting of SDG 6 and strengthens the global water agenda. By maintaining its support to UN-Water, the SDC helps to reduce the fragmentation of the water sector and contributes to accelerating the achievement of SDG 6, thus keeping its global commitment towards the 2030 Agenda. 


RWSN - Rural Water Supply Network

01.02.2021 - 31.07.2022

Universal access to safe, affordable water is at the core of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 and key to the realisation of human rights. However, achieving this in rural areas is particularly challenging given the high levels of poverty and discrimination as well as poor infrastructure. The Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) is the only global network that offers powerful mechanisms to share expertise and collaborate with local and global partners to effectively address these water issues. 


Boosting decentralized water solidarity mechanisms at the Swiss and global level - Bridging Phase solidarit’eau suisse

15.01.2021 - 15.07.2022

Today, still about 2 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water and 2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation. Municipalities and water utilities can play a key role in mobilizing additional financial resources and know-how into water supply and sanitation in developing countries through a solidarity mechanism. This bridging credit will help to transform and relaunch the platform solidarit’eau suisse to evolve towards a financially sustainable initiative. 


Towards effective Global Water Governance (Core contribution to the Global Water Partnership)

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2025

Sound and integrated water resources management is needed more than ever to respond to the global water crisis and to translate the agenda 2030 on water into action. Multi-stakeholder networks such as the Global Water Partnership (GWP) play a crucial role in supporting inclusive decision-making and in moderating between different interest groups and perspectives to enable the creation and maintenance of momentum for coordinated action.


Mekong River Commission (MRC) – Contribution to the basket fund for the implementation of the Strategic Plan 2021-2025

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2025

The Mekong River Commission is the only treaty-based intergovernmental organisation for the Mekong River Basin with a clear mandate for integrated water resources management, procedures and tools to support equitable use of water and address transboundary issues. Switzerland with its experience in water diplomacy and management contributes to the implementation of the new Basin Development Strategy (2021-2030) and Strategic Plan (2021-2025) through the multi-donor Basket Fund. 


El Agua Nos Une – Water Stewardship “United for Water

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2025

Based on Switzerland’s decade long experience on private sector engagement and empowerment of public institutions, “El Agua Nos Une” focuses on strengthening evidence-based decisions for better water governance in 4 Latin American countries. It envisions systemic change towards corporate water use efficiency and pollution mitigation, mobilizing stakeholders and investments in ecosystem preservation; contributing to a more equitable society and responsible water use.


Hands4health Hand hygiene, water quality and sanitation in primary health care facilities and schools not connected to a functional water supply system

01.12.2020 - 31.12.2024

Current technologies and approaches to improve water, sanitation and hygiene are fragmented. Hands4health focuses on the development, testing, evaluation and scaling up of new water efficient hand washing technologies as well as on a holistic approach to hand hygiene, water quality and sanitation. To leave no one behind, the project works in primary health care facilities and schools not connected to a functional water supply system in in four target countries and beyond. 


RésEAU cum Aguasan (formerly SDC Water Network RésEAU’)

01.10.2020 - 30.09.2025

Water security is a key prerequisite of sustainable development and for achieving the Agenda 2030. Herein SDC’s Water Network ‘RésEAU’ plays a key role in supporting efforts towards a water secure world by strengthening the required thematic expertise, helping to better capitalize key learnings and supporting transformational change in line with the new Bill 2021-2024. The next phase of the RésEAU will allow to be ‘fit for purpose’ and to better respond to future challenges and opportunities.


Sustainable and Innovative Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (SIRWASH)

01.10.2020 - 31.12.2024

The Sustainable and Innovative Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (SIRWASH) initiative improves enabling policy, innovation and knowledge environments and fosters the required capacities to provide sustainable quality water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to rural communities – in particular poor households and vulnerable people – in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Haiti and Peru. It builds on Switzerland’s over 20 years of experience in strengthening rural WASH systems in Peru and Colombia.


IWGP - Inclusive Water Governance Project in Mekong Region

01.10.2020 - 30.06.2024

Through this project, Switzerland will support civil society organisations, women and vulnerable communities to better influence water resource governance and decision-making processes at all levels in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. The Swiss knowhow in transboundary water governance and citizen participation shall leverage more inclusive, transparent and accountable infrastructure development that better responds to the needs of vulnerable riverine communities and improve their livelihood.

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