Strengthening the international focus on sustainable water use

A report entitled 'A Matter of Survival' is on the table.
Launch of the final report of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace in Geneva. © Presence Switzerland FDFA

The SDC is working to ensure that the ‘water goal’ in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is implemented rapidly and that water is afforded greater prominence at the international level. Switzerland's actions are based on the firm belief and its own experience that the sustainable management of water resources is essential to promote social, economic and environmental development and to maintain global peace.

SDC Focus

International efforts have already given rise to major improvements, for example in relation to drinking water and sanitation services. However, the results are still insufficient. At present, 844 million people still lack access to clean water. Furthermore, one-third of the world's population is still living without adequate sanitation facilities.

The SDC is committed to strengthening the implementation of the ‘water goal’ enshrined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Alongside a group of countries, the SDC is supporting global political dialogue to ensure that international obligations are met and specific activities undertaken that will help achieve this goal. With its many years of experience in water management, Switzerland is making a considerable contribution to identifying comprehensive transboundary solutions. Moreover, the SDC is strengthening the voice of young people in policy dialogue both regionally and globally, for they are the potential water specialists of the future.

Water management is a particularly complex issue and one which the international community is addressing: Switzerland possesses broad expertise in this field. As stretches of two major European rivers, the Rhône and the Rhine, flow through the country, and a number of lakes extend across its borders, Switzerland has long experience in transboundary water management and can assist in developing solutions for other parts of the world.

Background

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: a stand-alone ‘water goal’

Under the auspices of the SDC, Switzerland worked successfully together with a coalition of other countries to have water included as a stand-alone objective in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Goal 6 covers the protection and restoration of water-related ecosystems as well as access to drinking water, sanitation facilities and hygiene. A further objective is to promote cross-border cooperation between states in order to ensure comprehensive water resources management that involves all users at all levels.

Water and human development

If a reliable supply of drinking water and access to adequate sanitation services are guaranteed, the population is more likely to remain in good health, thus reducing medical costs, while healthier children mean lower school absenteeism rates. Water points located close to human settlements help save precious time – time otherwise devoted to fetching water, a task often assigned to women and children.

Water is also essential to ensuring the livelihoods of people in rural areas, producing food and energy, and driving growth in industry and the services sector.

Furthermore, shortages of water can give rise to tension or even conflicts. 153 states share rivers, groundwater reserves or lakes with one or more neighbouring countries. Rivalries over water therefore have direct repercussions for peace and security. By contrast, commonly agreed, peaceful management fosters peace and stability.

Documents

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 121

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. 

Object 1 – 12 of 121