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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Water Programme Aswan, Component 3: Water Efficiency and Economic Support (WEE) in Nasr El Nuba and Kom Ombo

01.07.2012 - 31.03.2018

Egypt is a water scarce country and despite recent reforms in the water sector, major challenges remain. Based on needs identified by local authorities and past experiences by the Egyptian-Swiss Development Fund, the programme aims to improve public water supply and management, increase management and income from rehabilitated irrigation systems as well as sensitizing the population about water-related issues.

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 - 30.06.2018

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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