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.



Current projects

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National Water Resources Management in Tajikistan

01.02.2013 - 30.09.2018

This project in the north of Tajikistan has been developed upon the request of the Government of Tajikistan to address the transformation of the Tajik Water Management. The project builds on Switzerland’s expertise and long-term presence in the water management in Central Asia. Specifically, the project will strengthen the capacities of the irrigation water providers and the local communities in effective water resource management, in order to support the ongoing Water Sector Reform process. Concurrently, the project will support the rehabilitation of key irrigation infrastructure and reduce the impact of natural disasters to sustain the achievements of the project.

MKAJI – Maji kwa Afya ya Jamii: Upgrading Water Supply in Health Facilities of Dodoma Region

01.09.2012 - 31.03.2019

Water and sanitation (WASH) is one of the most important social determinants of health. Upon request of regional authorities, SDC will upgrade water supply and sanitation systems in 100 primary health facilities in Dodoma region. This intervention will considerably reduce the high risk of infection transmission and improve quality of care in health facilities. Water management and hygiene promotion in and with communities will complement hardware investments.

Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development - Research Module on Social Conflicts and Fragility

01.03.2012 - 31.12.2019

SDC and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) are offering a new long-term funding scheme for development-relevant research on global issues (www.r4d.ch). The main focus lies on the generation of new insights and solutions as well as on the application of research results into policy and practice through partnership projects between researchers from Switzerland and from developing countries. The overall r4d.ch program consists of five thematic modules and a module for thematically open research. The first thematic module focuses on the causes and solutions to social conflicts in the context of weak public institutions.

Programme Eau Potable pour la Population des Grands Lacs (PEPP)

01.11.2011 - 31.12.2018

Le Programme Eau Potable pour la Population des Grands Lacs (PEPP) réalisera la construction et la réhabilitation de 32 adductions d’eau potable pour une population d’environ 360'000 bénéficiaires directs. Un accent particulier sera mis sur les mécanismes de gestion durable, maintenance et tarification, la participation communautaire et en particulier celle des femmes. La promotion de la santé visera la diffusion de bonnes pratiques d’hygiène et d’assainissement et la sensibilisation à l’eau comme bien précieux.

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