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Switzerland

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Area: 5888268 km2
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Quick Info

2.14 out of 5
WWF Country Risk Score
173 out of 248 Countries
WWF Country Rank
Total Organizations: 14
Total Projects: 6
Priority SDGs: Increase Access to Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (SDG 6.1 & 6.2)
Water Quality (SDG 6.3)
Integrated Water Resource Management (SDG 6.5)
Protect and Restore Ecosystems (SDG 6.6)
Stakeholder Participation (SDG 6.b)
Water-Related Disaster Management (SDG 11.5)
Sustainable Production (SDG 12.4)
Climate Resilience and Adaptation (SDG 13.1)
Priority Regions: --
Priority Industries: Agribusiness
Food and Beverage
Health Care
Other
Organization Types:
79%
Business
14%
NGO / Civil Society
7%
Bilateral and / or Intergovernmental Agency
Profile Completion: 91%

Water Challenges

As reported by organizations on the Hub.

33.3%
Water Demand and Competition among Users
16.7%
Access to Water Supply and Water Services
16.7%
Land Use Issues
16.7%
Physical water supply
16.7%
Socioeconomic and Reputation

Country Overview

1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES Average annual precipitation in Switzerland is 1,537mm. Average annual renewable water resources stand at 535 million km3. 40,400 million m3/yr of this comes from internal water resources and 131 million km3 from external water resources. In 2009 the country’s total dam (reservoir) capacity was 33.45 million km3. Switzerland has eight rivers: the Rhine, the Aar, the Rhône, the Reuss, the Linth/Limmat, the Saane, the Thur and the Inn. The Rhine is one of Europe’s longest (1,320km) and most important rivers, with an average discharge of more than 2,000m2 per second. Switzerland holds 6 per cent of Europe’s fresh water. The Rhine, Rhone and Inn all have their source in the country, although they flow into three seas: the North Sea, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The Rhine Falls, a few kilometres downstream of Schaffhausen, are the largest in Europe, at 150m wide and 23m high. Switzerland also has over 1,500 lakes. The two largest, Lake Geneva and Lake Constance, lie on the country’s borders – Geneva with France and Constance with Germany and Austria. Lake Geneva, which lies on the Rhone, is the largest freshwater lake in central Europe. The biggest lake lying wholly within Switzerland is Lake Neuchâtel, with an area of 218.4km2. Probably the best known lake is Lake Lucerne in Central Switzerland (113.7km2).

1.1.2.WATER USE Water is used in many ways. Intensive farming practices and the demands of society at large for water, sanitation and recreation impair water quality and heighten pressures on the aquatic environment. Climate change is altering the temporal and spatial availability of water (FOEN, 2011). Some 80 per cent of water used for drinking and for industry in Switzerland comes from groundwater. In 2000, total freshwater withdrawal was around 26.14 million km3. 0.05km3 of all water withdrawn was used for agriculture, 1.004km3 for municipal purposes and 1.503km3 for industry. Per capita water consumption in Switzerland is 3.603 km3.

1.2.WATER QUALITY, ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN HEALTH The quality of Swiss surface water has improved significantly, with decreasing nitrate and phosphorus levels, as a result of excellent wastewater treatment infrastructure and a ban on phosphorus in detergents. However, discharge of micropollutants via wastewater treatment plants and other sources remains a challenge for water protection. The habitat quality of a surface water body depends not only on the quality of the water, but also on its morphology, the water flow and bed-load regime, and the water temperature. Construction work has considerably altered approximately 10,000km of Switzerland’s 65,000km water network (FOEN, 2009). In many rivers and streams, the volume of residual water remaining after abstraction is not sufficient to maintain their diverse functions. In Alpine rivers downstream from hydropower plants, hydropeaking (surge/low-flow dynamics) impairs natural habitat. Stream control measures, gravel extraction and hydropower facilities alter the bed-load regime. This results in more uniform and structurally impoverished habitats, with declining biodiversity. The waterbeds are sealed, particularly near weirs at run-of-river hydropower facilities, impairing drainage and diminishing groundwater recharge. The average temperature of the Rhine at Basel has risen by more than 2°C in the last 50 years. Climate change and discharge of heated water (for example, from cooling plants, and showers and washing machines via wastewater treatment plants) have contributed to this. Many aquatic organisms are sensitive to this temperature rise. Overall quality of groundwater is good, according to National Groundwater Monitoring results. There are some problems in areas of intensive agriculture and in built-up areas, where high nitrate concentrations, plant protection products, pharmaceutical products and traces of chemicals from industrial processes are found. Human health is not at risk from pollutant levels, based on current knowledge. However, pollutants, especially where they exceed national limits, are a warning sign and need to be taken seriously. Switzerland, as part of the Alpine region, serves as a “water tower” with abundant water resources. Only a fraction of these are abstracted. This is reflected in a low water exploitation index. Switzerland generates 1.5 billion m3 of wastewater annually. 1.45 billion m3 of this is municipal wastewater. The rest is industrial and hospital effluent. The impacts of pollution on surface and groundwater need to be considered both in urban and built-up areas (where consequences can include wet-weather discharges and pollutant inputs from heavily used traffic routes) and in agricultural areas (where impacts can include discharge of fertilizers and pesticides via seepage, leaching, erosion, runoff and deposition) (EEA, 2011).

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Organizations in Switzerland


Planet Horizons Technologies is a Swiss-based company that is at the forefront of water treatment technology using very low-frequency electromagnetic resonance fields. Under the commercial name Aqua4D Water Solutions, PHT is present in many economic sectors. In recent years this ... Learn More

Firmenich SA is a private Swiss company in the fragrance and flavor business. It is the largest privately owned company in the field and ranks number two worldwide. Learn More

Givaudan is a Swiss manufacturer of flavors, fragrances, and active cosmetic ingredients. Learn More

Glencore plc is an Anglo–Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company. Learn More

A certification organisation aimed at using a results-based financing approach to finance water impact projects with verifiable, long-term positive impacts. STRATEGIC INITIATIVES + INNOVATIONS Gold Standard strategic initiatives are long-term efforts and innovations focused on mainstreaming credible impact quantification through ... Learn More

We are a group of driven professionals from three continents that have a deep interest, dedication and skill to move from theory to practice and produce tangible outcomes in light of our mission: To explore and promote ways for people ... Learn More

LafargeHolcim is the global leader in building materials and solutions. We are active in four business segments: Cement, Aggregates, Ready-Mix Concrete and Solutions &amp; Products. With leading positions in all regions of the world and a balanced portfolio between developing ... Learn More

RobecoSAM is an international investment company with a specific focus on sustainability investments. The company is based in Zurich, Switzerland and considers economic, environmental and social criteria in its investment strategies. Learn More

Sika is a specialty chemicals company with a leading position in the development and production of systems and products for bonding, sealing, damping, reinforcing, and protecting in the building sector and motor vehicle industry. Sika has subsidiaries in 101 countries ... Learn More

Syngenta is a leading agriculture company helping to improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources. Through world class science and innovative crop solutions, our 28,000 people in over 90 countries are ... Learn More

VF Corporation outfits consumers around the world with its diverse portfolio of iconic lifestyle brands, including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland®, Wrangler® and Lee®. Founded in 1899, VF is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies with ... Learn More

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization working on issues regarding the conservation, research and restoration of the environment. It is the world's largest independent conservation organization with over 5 million supporters worldwide, working in ... Learn More

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council's (WSSCC) mission is to ensure sustainable sanitation, better hygiene and safe drinking water for all people. Good sanitation and hygiene lead to economic and social development, yielding health, productivity, educational and environmental benefits. ... Learn More

The World Economic Forum The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. It was established in 1971 ... Learn More

Projects in Switzerland


Givaudan has added a production line in its Geneva site dedicated to manufacturing hand sanitizer. The company will donate over 60 tonnes of hand sanitizer, roughly equivalent to 700,000 bottles, to hospitals, Geneva public transportation, the Geneva airport, NGOs, and ... Learn More

Glencore has created a $25 million fund to ease the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic in the communities where it operates. The fund will complement existing efforts by local teams, initially focusing on supporting local community organizations and health authorities ... Learn More

Nestle is helping the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies respond to the pandemic by donating bottled water and food to those most affected, offering its logistical capacity to support the IFRC around the world, and ... Learn More

Syngenta and Huntsman are collaborating to produce and donate 50 tons of hand sanitizer to hospitals and pharmacies, specifically to the CHUV General Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland and the Swiss Canton of Vaud. This will help address shortages and combat ... Learn More

Project WET is currently active in more than 75 countries around the world through a network of partner organizations that range from small NGOs to major international corporations and organizations. We only go where we’re invited! We work with our ... Learn More

We are continuing to conduct deep analyses of our key at-risk growing areas and facility watersheds. We realize that much of our impact is beyond our direct operations which ultimately may be affected. We are working to implement strategies for ... Learn More

Suggested Resources

View the full list of 300+ resources at the Water Stewardship Toolbox

This Working Paper proposes a method whereby any decision-maker can calculate the cost required to deliver sustainable water management to a geography. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

In this policy brief the ILO offers comprehensive and integrated recommendations on the key areas of policy action that should form part of that response.The brief is addressed at ILO constituents (governments, employers and workers), policy-makers and the general public. Learn More

Inform and strengthen your company’s water management strategies and allow your investors to evaluate current water management activities against detailed definitions of leading practice. Learn More

Developers: Ceres

In this Nature feature, Johan Rockstrom and co-authors argue that identifying and quantifying planetary boundaries that must not be transgressed could help prevent human activities from causing unacceptable environmental change. Learn More

Nature-based solution (NBS) can improve degraded ecosystems, help sequester carbon, and manage the effects of climate change, including extreme weather events. Businesses are beginning to recognize the value of NBS for climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

Developed by a group of leading beverage businesses, this is an easy-to-use excel tool for beverage facilities to estimate direct costs associated with their most water- and resource- intensive processes, beyond just the cost of water from the tap. The ... Learn More

Plan, Prepare and Respond- Breakdown for different industries on how to operate safely. Cleaning and disinfecting, Worker Safety, Support Resources, Mitigation Strategy Learn More

An emphasis on gaps in WASH coverage and what role institutions play in battling COVID-19. Links and other resources provided. Learn More

This report presents analysis of the response data from a sample of 783 of the world’s largest publicly listed companies. The report is aimed at companies and investors seeking to understand how they can play their part in delivering a ... Learn More

The Toolbox connects your business to the latest tools, guidance, case studies, datasets, and more most relevant to you based on your circumstances and interests. It features more than 250+ resources from dozens of organizations and is updated every week. Learn More

Developers: CEO Water Mandate, Pacific Institute

CDC/EPA Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Includes Printable Materials Learn More

This report makes the case for private sector investment in green infrastructure as part of a broader water stewardship approach. Learn More

Developers: BHP

The purpose of these guidelines is to highlight additional measures so that the integrity of the food chain is maintained, and that adequate and safe food supplies are available for consumers. Learn More

This document is intended for WASH and C4D officers at country offices working together on the Covid19 outbreak preparedness and response. The document contains guidance on reviewing existing resources and coordination mechanisms, identifying the right intervention and considerations for sustainability ... Learn More

Workers in office buildings may be at risk for exposure to the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Office building employers, building owners and managers, and building operations specialists can take steps to create a safe and healthy workplace ... Learn More

How to ensure the safety of your occupants and building water system and devices Learn More

CAIR-CA has put together the following guide to some of the resources for workers who have been impacted by COVID-19. Learn More

The campaigns, which target audiences at home and in schools, promote improved health and hygiene practices, such as handwashing, the importance of connecting to the water supply and sanitation system, regular payments for service continuity, and improving sanitation and menstrual ... Learn More

Constantly updated database for California nonprofits. Contains Advocacy and support links, funding opportunities, Federal resources and information, announcements and resources, employee and employer resources, and resources for individuals. Learn More

Technical guidance, WASH preparedness, webinars, checklists for health facilities, self assessments, and guidance on disinfectants. Learn More

Urban stormwater is becoming an increasingly important alternative water supply in California. However, current economic analyses do not adequately evaluate co-benefits provided by different stormwater investments. As a result, urban stormwater capture is undervalued. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

NBS offer a promising contribution on how to enhance the availability and quality of water for productive purposes and human consumption, while preserving ecosystems. In this discussion paper, 21 case studies of water management processes are analysed, using a non-representative ... Learn More

FAO has been emphasizing the need to accelerate a global transition to sustainable food and agriculture systems, advocating an integrated approach. This document focuses on the management of water for agricultural use. Learn More

The purpose of this document is to provide ministries (e.g. Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Water (MOW)), sub-national public health authorities, and implementing partners with a practical framework of action to both prepare for and mitigate community transmission of ... Learn More

This document gives advice on: 1. Simple ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace 2. How to manage COVID-19 risks when organizing meetings &amp; events 3. Things to consider when you and your employees travel 4. Getting ... Learn More

The Global Water Footprint Assessment Standard can be used to provide comparable quantification and robust analytics, helping corporations, governments, and researchers manage water resources and achieve greater water sustainability. Learn More

This guide outlines why and how investors engage on agricultural supply chain water risk. Learn More

Developers: WWF

In this link, you will find an overview of our measures and initiatives to support the health and livelihood of employees and communities in which we operate. Our three guiding principles: Health, safety, and trust of our people Safeguard the ... Learn More

Developers: Heineken

Om Prasad Gautam, Khairul Islam, and Erik Harvey discuss the importance of handwashing with soap and water in reducing the risk of infection from COVID-19 and highlight the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector can and should do in response to ... Learn More

Adapting to climate change, coupled with the need to address aging infrastructure, population growth, and degraded ecosystems, requires significant investment in natural and built water systems. These investments present a significant opportunity to support not only water, but to provide ... Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

To provide guidance and a global framework for the design, verification and scaling up of Nature-based Solutions. The Standard includes globally consistent Criteria and Indicators, which are supported by the Principles for Nature-based Solutions, to measure the strength of interventions. Learn More

Developers: International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

To help our partners in responding to this health crisis in their countries, we have compiled different resources and tools around COVID-19 and WASH, which include documents, videos, social media materials with messages on public health, webinar recordings, etc. Learn More

Resources for the Long Beach community. Covers topics such as: Movement Strategy, Family Resource Government Resources Learn More

How to ensure the safety of staff and maintaining water quality in buildings with little or no use. Learn More

National Register Resources: Psychological resources and information. Learn More

This article presents the state of knowledge with regard to human health and well-being from contact with nature. Learn More

The United Nations World Water Development Report for 2018. Learn More

With private enterprises playing a critical role in contributing to the safety of their staff, it is important to change some of their core operations. This guide is meant as a stepping point to begin reopening with safety as a ... Learn More

OSHA has developed this interim guidance to help prevent worker exposure to SARS-CoV-2. The general guidance below applies to all U.S. workers and employers. Learn More

During an infectious disease outbreak, such as the current outbreak of COVID-19, small business owners must prepare for disruption in their business as well as prepare to protect their employees’ health and safety in the workplace. These steps are recommended ... Learn More

Guidelines for supply chain workplaces to reopen with a robust WASH plan of action. Learn More

This report shows how putting nature to work can help deliver infrastructure services with greater impact and lower cost, all the while reducing risks from disaster, boosting water security and enhancing climate resilience. Learn More

The Coca-Cola Company is quantifying the water-related “Replenish” benefits derived through its Community Water Partnership (CWP) projects. The work described in this report builds on previous efforts, and provides a current status of quantification results for three categories of CWP ... Learn More

Developers: GETF, The Coca-Cola Company

Questions\ guidelines relating to food businesses answered by the WHO. Learn More

This guidance is intended for all Americans, whether you own a business, run a school, or want to ensure the cleanliness and safety of your home. Learn More

How to ensure the safety of staff and maintaining water quality in buildings with little or no use. Learn More

This report seeks to provide an overview of the three leading water tools available for corporate water risk assessment. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

SAVEh is the platform through which Ambev shares its water management system free of charge with other companies, which has helped to reduce more than 40% of the company’s water consumption in the last 13 years. This water efficiency tool ... Learn More

Developers: Ambev S/A

The Colorado River Basin states face significant water challenges, including the overallocation of water, long-term drought, and climate change. This report, commissioned by the Walton Family Foundation, explores the potential for corporate water stewardship to help solve these challenges. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The City of Austin, Texas is facing an increasingly uncertain water future, from decreasing water supplies and more intense droughts to periodic flooding and water quality impairments. Austin is addressing these challenges head on, from investments in water efficiency and ... Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Compass Business Tools inventory maps existing business tools against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It allows you to explore commonly used business tools that may be useful when assessing your organization’s impact on the SDGs. Learn More

The world’s water resources are under increasing pressure from rising water consumption, pollution, and climate variability. The variety of water challenges companies face, from water governance issues to extreme events like drought, manifest in the river basins where the companies ... Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

This report is a call to action, for the immediate health response required to suppress transmission of the virus to end the pandemic, and to tackle the many social and economic dimensions of this crisis. It is, above all, a ... Learn More

This report provides findings on good practices of AWS Standard implementation. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The Soil &amp; Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is a small watershed to river basin-scale model used to simulate the quality and quantity of surface and ground water and predict the environmental impact of land use, land management practices and climate ... Learn More

In response to the challenge of quantifying the business benefits, WaterAid, Diageo, GAP Inc., and Unilever have worked with PwC and ODI to develop a practical, step-by-step guide. The guide will help companies understand the business value of their WASH ... Learn More

Developers: WaterAid

The Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) Standard for Sustainable Rice Cultivation is the world’s first voluntary sustainability standard for rice. The standard is complemented by a set of 12 quantitative performance indicators. By identifying “hotspots,” the indicators enable users to monitor ... Learn More

The Forest Stewardship Council created the Principles of Forest Stewardship as a worldwide standard to promote environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests. Learn More

The AWS Standard is a globally-applicable framework for major water users to understand their water use and impacts, and to work collaboratively and transparently for sustainable water management within a catchment context. Learn More

Developers: Alliance for Water Stewardship

This paper provides examples of how to make progress in service delivery in and beyond the workplace. With private enterprises playing a critical role in contributing to the safety of their staff, it is important to change some of their ... Learn More

This special Academy session covered steps businesses can take to respect and support the rights and lives of women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More

This tool is an interactive map linking nature-based solutions to climate change adaptation outcomes based on a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

A deep dive into three areas for business action:1 Responsible Marketing 2 Accelerating Collaborative Action at the Country Level 3 Building Resilience and Good Practice Solutions for Business Learn More

This report explores the possibilities of scaling a circular economy, given the reality of the global economy and the complexity of multi-tier supply chains. Learn More

Developers: World Economic Forum

As the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, the United Nations Global Compact is calling on business leaders everywhere to unite to support workers, communities, and companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A coordinated international plan involving the business sector will ... Learn More

This page brings together water and sanitation-related information from UN-Water Members and Partners in the light of the coronavirus global emergency. UN-Water is working to ensure the most up-to-date information, resources, and guidance as they become available. Learn More

Water is the lifeblood of California, providing for the household needs of 40 million people and supporting one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world, various commercial and industrial activities, and the health and viability of the state’s ... Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

New figures from the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP) indicate that WASH services in health care facilities are sub-standard in every region. Learn More

Developers: UNICEF The United Nations Children's Fund

ILO Sectoral Policies and Governance and Tripartism Departments present four self-training modules, which adapt existing ILO training tools on OSH to provide governments, workers and employers with the necessary skills to implement the general principles contained in relevant ILO instruments. ... Learn More

To combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus and rebuild our economies during and after the pandemic, collective action on water is essential. Such action can help not only to contain the virus, but also to realize the human right ... Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

Companies are increasingly setting and pursing ‘water balance targets’ as part of their water stewardship strategies. The seeming simplicity of balance goals can be attractive – “we will restore a volume of water equal to the amount our business consumes.” ... Learn More

Developers: WWF

This report calls for an integrated approach that brings together governments, water users, and the society at large including the private sector, NGOs, and academia to design smart, adaptable and sustainable solutions for water infrastructure impacted by climate change. Learn More

The Water Risk Filter can be used to assess and respond to water related risks for your own operations, suppliers, or growth plans. Learn More

Developers: WWF

The Water Risk Filter can be used to assess and respond to water-related risks for your own operations, suppliers, or growth plans. Learn More

Developers: WWF

Safely managed water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services are an essential part of preventing and protecting human health during infectious disease outbreaks, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Learn More

CTCN; UNEP Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; Water Witness International; WaterAid; WBCSD Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

UNEP Learn More

Ecolab Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; Pegasys; Water Witness International; WWF Learn More

The World Bank Learn More

UNEP-DHI Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

UN Water Learn More

OECD Learn More

UNICEF; WHO Learn More

River Threat Netwrok Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; WWF Learn More

Swedish Textile Water Initiative Learn More

WaterAid Learn More

CEO Water Mandate Learn More

CEO Water Mandate Learn More

Toilet Board Coalition Learn More

Conservation International Learn More

UNEP Learn More

U.S. General Services Administration Learn More

National Drought Mitigation Center Learn More

USGS Learn More

UN Water Learn More

Lillian Holmes
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