Water – A vital resource under threat

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

Documents

Current projects

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Research for action

01.01.2027 - 31.12.2030

The 2017 Joint Monitoring Report, published in July, states that serious efforts have been made since the Millennium Development Goals to improve access to safe water and sanitation around the world. However, disparities remain, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and for the rural poor, more drastic for sanitation. This project aims to reduce this gap, by supporting applied research, transformative innovations, capacity development and networking, which will answer to the needs and requirements of the targeted population.


Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership to achieve a water-secure world for all

01.07.2026 - 31.12.2030

The Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership (GWSP) of the World Bank Water Global Practice is a global partnership with the objective to address the water and sanitation challenge in an integrated manner, as set out by the Global Sustainable Development Goal 6. This SDC support will promote innovative global knowledge production and exchange, dialogue and partnerships, as well as country-level support across regions at global scale.


UN-Water: Strengthening the Global Water Architecture for the effective achievement of the 2030 Agenda

01.01.2026 - 31.12.2030

UN-Water has now firmly established itself as a major actor in water and in coordinating UN agencies to speak as one voice for water. SDC’s support to UN-Water’s core budget is crucial to ensure that the political ambition of the 2030 Agenda for water and its related targets has an efficient institutional setting allowing an integrated monitoring and an efficient follow-up and review and strong coordination between UN agencies. UN-Water will be key to bring a more effective, integrated and coordinated approach to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda with regards to water and sanitation and to review progress.


Solar Irrigation for Agriculture Resilience (SoLAR)

01.07.2024 - 31.07.2027

To adapt to climate change farmers rely increasingly on irrigation, ultimately depleting groundwater resources and raising energy demand. The project aims to address these challenges by promoting solar irrigation, water efficient agriculture and groundwater governance. The project will harness Swiss expertise on hydrogeology and technical innovations to contribute to climate resilient agriculture and facilitate knowledge sharing in South Asia and at the global level.


Sustainable water management for food security and nutrition in agriculture and food systems

01.07.2023 - 31.03.2027

Agriculture accounts globally for 70% freshwater use. Inefficient water use, water pollution, climate change and increasing global water demand puts agriculture under pressure, as well for smallholders. SDC can build on successful experiences in this domain and will support projects in Africa in ecologically sustainable water management in smallholder agriculture and food systems, improve smallholders’ economic and social situation and increase the resilience of their livelihoods.


Blue Peace: Unlocking the value of transboundary, multisectoral and transgenerational investments

01.07.2023 - 31.12.2029

In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals government efforts do not suffice, large private capitals deployed towards development are needed. Switzerland has a comparative advantage as innovative finance hub. Building on this, SDC contributes to the development of innovative financial products that enable transboundary, multisectoral and transgenerational investments with aim to contribute to sustainable development and peace.


JOR Sanitation Solutions for Underserved Communities in Jordan

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2028

In Jordan water supply from conventional water sources has come to its limits. Appropriate sanitation solutions will minimize the risks for public health and reduce the hazards of environmental pollution. Additionally these will cut the costs for sanitation operations and free resources for other purposes. Thus the project will contribute to the much needed decoupling of population and economic growth from resource consumption and pollution of the environment.


Sustainable Natural Resources Management (NRM) for Enhanced Pastoralist Food Security in the Borana Zone, Ethiopia.

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2027

Natural resources, particularly water and pasture, are among the key determinants of pastoralist livelihoods’ sustainability. The proposed Project contributes to the outcomes of the SDC’s Food Security Domain as stipulated in the Swiss Cooperation Strategy Horn of Africa. It aims at improving pastoralist food security and adaptive capacities in the lowlands of Borana Zone, Southern Ethiopia, through enhancing the sustainable management of natural resources.


Support to WASH Road Map 2025

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2025

Too often, WASH responses has failed to meet defined humanitarian or sectoral standards owing to a lack of capacity, preparedness and funding. Through strengthened collective commitments and strategic engagement by all stakeholders active in the WASH sector, the implementation of the Road Map will roll out innovative approaches to save lives, reach better public and environmental health outcomes and build synergies between acute and complex emergencies, humanitarian crises and long-term development.


Improving Community Resilience through Sustainable Livelihoods in the Rasht Valley, Tajikistan

01.12.2022 - 30.11.2027

The contribution to the Aga Khan Foundation project aims at improving the resilience of livelihoods of the remote rural communities of Rasht valley, vulnerable to climate change. The local population will get equitable access to water and sanitation and childcare services. The population and particularly women will get income generation opportunities and engage in management, regeneration and protection of their natural resources while adopting disaster risk reduction measures and practices.


ICIMOD - Contribution to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development

01.12.2022 - 31.12.2026

ICIMOD is a regional intergovernmental knowledge and learning center serving its eight member countries in the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region. SDC support towards strengthening ICIMOD’s role as an enabler of regional cooperation and informed policy dialogue will benefit mountain communities through green, climate resilient and inclusive development, while profiting from Swiss thematic expertise.


DRC: Building resilience of Yemeni communities through integrated water resource management and provision of water supply, sanitation and hygiene services

01.12.2022 - 30.11.2025

Through the proposed intervention, the climate and conflict resilience of displacement-affected Yemeni in targeted locations will be reinforced through sustainable and community-led integrated water resource management (IWRM), sustainable water and sanitation systems, provision of multipurpose cash assistance (MPCA) and improved technical and institutional capacity of local partners. 

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