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

Object 61 – 72 of 81

China: Groundwater Rehabilitation under a changing climate

15.03.2014 - 31.03.2018

In the past 30 years the aquifers in the semi-arid North China Plain have been greatly overexploited. Climate change is increasing the drought problem. The project assesses measures to establish a long-term balanced regional water budget by water imports and water saving and applies complementary use of precipitation, surface water and groundwater. The system is based on real-time monitoring of groundwater tables and pumping rates and controlling pumping wells via a quota system. The insights of this project can be applied also in other countries.

Strengthening the Institutional Framework in the Water and Sanitation Sector in Moldova

01.03.2014 - 31.08.2019

Poor governance is the key bottleneck in the Moldovan water sector, which jeopardizes long-term sustainability of past investments, and hinders new Investments to extend access to drinking water for all. With this project, SDC will improve the steering and management of the sector as well as the performance of key sector institutions, through working directly with the national institutions on sector capacity development, integrated water resource management, and a comprehensive water information system.

Jinsha River Basin (JRB): Integrated Water Resources and Risk Management under Changing Climate

01.02.2014 - 31.12.2017

The effects of climate change on the Yangtze River are crucial for the economy, food production, livelihood safety and ecosystems of about one third of China’s population. The present project studies the Jinsha River Basin in the upper Yangtze, where glacier and climatic variability greatly influence the water regimes, and measures are needed for a sustainable, integrated water management, catering for hazard and water management, hydroelectricity and agricultural production, as well as biodiversity and human wellbeing, in the coming years.

Small Irrigation Prorgamme (SIP)

01.02.2014 - 28.02.2019

Incidence of poverty in irrigated areas of Nepal is half that in rain-fed areas and access to irrigation water contributes thus to mitigate poverty. Since the marginal lands are better accessible through small irrigation schemes, reducing poverty of smallholder farmers through small irrigation systems [1] are more effective than medium-sized or large systems. SIP will not only help increase their agricultural productivity but will also enhance the capacity of national and local government so that they can respond to these needs.

[1] Small-scale irrigation, defined by the GoN's irrigation policy as command areas smaller than 25 ha in the hills and mountains and 200 ha in Terai.


Scaling Up Productive Water

01.02.2014 - 28.02.2018

Access to affordable productive water technologies disseminated by International Development Enterprises (IDE) through setting up sustainable local supply chains have proven to impact incomes and water productivity of over 300'000 small farmers so far. The project in phase 2 will make the regional programs sustainable and allow them to grow further, building strong linkages with financial services. It will develop and disseminate tools to use water in an efficient and sustainable way, and make suitable technologies and dissemination approaches available for replication globally.

Rural Water Supply and Sanitation in the Fergana Valley, Tajikistan

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2018

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) was engaged in the Fergana valley both in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan with the Regional Rural Water Supply and Sanitation project since 2007. Due to difficulties in implementing regional projects in Central Asia, SDC decided in 2012 to develop two separate country projects with a regional view. The overall objective of the project is to improve the rural population’s health and livelihood with sustainable safe drinking water and sanitation facilities as well as with the development of training for better household hygienic behavior.

Community-driven watershed management for climate change adaptation

01.12.2013 - 31.12.2018

The "Dry Corridor" of Honduras has a “climate risk index” rating that is among the world’s highest. The population suffers from repeated drought and other extreme meteorological events. Rural families depend on natural resources and are the most affected. One critically important adaptation to climate change is integral water management. Using a community-driven approach, through dialogue and territorial governance mechanisms, the program will improve the resilience of the poor in the trans-border watershed of the Goascorán River.

Rural Water and Sanitation Support Programme Kosovo (RWSSP V)

01.11.2013 - 31.12.2017

Since 2005, the Swiss Rural Water and Sanitation Support Programme has provided access to safe drinking water and sanitation to more than 150,000 people living in rural area. The programme is building infrastructure, strengthening managing capacity, and developing the sector framework conditions. It is expected that by 2017, 320,000 people will benefit and that the Regional Water Companies maintain effectively the water networks.

Renforcement de l’élevage pastoral

01.03.2013 - 13.04.2018

L’élevage pastoral est l’activité économique dominante et le mode de vie principal des régions sahélo-sahariennes du Tchad. Il est un facteur essentiel de stabilité socioéconomique et de sécurité. Il est confronté à des difficultés croissantes, liées notamment au changement climatique. La DDC entend renforcer l’élevage pastoral dans trois régions au bénéfice direct de 700'000 personnes, par la réalisation de 100 puits pastoraux et 10 mares, le balisage de 500 km de couloirs de transhumance, et par le soutien aux services à l’élevage et aux organisations pastorales

Aguasan Programme Nicaragua

01.03.2013 - 31.10.2017

The population in rural areas and small towns of poor regions in Nicaragua still widely lacks sustainable water and sanitation services. The programme aims at improving living conditions of the population by providing water and sanitation infrastructure. State institutions at national and municipal levels will be strengthened. Community participation in the design, implementation and operation of the water infrastructure will be enhanced, thus contributing to the sustainability of service delivery.

National Water Resources Management in Tajikistan

01.02.2013 - 30.06.2018

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.

Object 61 – 72 of 81