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SWP Member Events at World Water Week

Join the Swiss Water Partnership at World Water Week 2019!

This year the Swiss Water Partnership (SWP) will be present at the World Water Week. You are warmly invited to visit the SWP and its present members at the BOOTH B12 in the exhibition hall! Come by for the launches and aperitifs on key topics in water.

Have a look at the SWP Booth Program HERE!

All sessions of the conference of our present SWP members are listed hereafter:

Sunday 25th August 2019

Monday 26th August 2019

Tuesday 27th August 2019

Wednesday 28th August 2019

Thursday 29th August 2019

> Check out the SWP Booth Program Stand B12, Exhibition Hall

Extended Deadline: EU Youth Parliament for Water | Call for Participation

The International Secretariat for Water (ISW) is inviting young Europeans (18-30 years old) active and committed for water to participate in the 15th edition of the European Youth Parliament for Water, which will be held from 17-24 November 2019 in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

The proposed theme is: “The River basin: backbone of regional development”.  The Parliament will focus on how the territorial unit of a river basin can be a driving force for a shared and sustainable management of the water and how young people can contribute to a better water resources management.

More detailed information:

Deadline: Applications are open until the 15th September!

Study Tour 2019 - Part 1

Study Tour on Integrated Water Resources Management – Part 1

From 7-13th July 2019 the Swiss Water Partnership organized the study tour for 10 delegates from the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Pakistan) on the topic of IWRM.

Here is some of the preliminary information (the report will follow):

  1. Study Tour Background and Program
  2. Presentations:

Join the Full Day Seminar at WWW on Entrepreneurship

WWWeek2019 full day seminar: “Entrepreneurship Driving Water Impact for All”

Every August, thousands of experts, practitioners, decision-makers, business innovators and young professionals from many corners of the world flock to Stockholm for the World Water Week. The aspiration of the organiser (the Stockholm International Water Institute or SIWI) for this year’s gathering is nothing less than to create a movement “to achieve a water wise world for all”.

The Sweppers* have been a part of this movement already for some time. Indeed, two years ago, as a handful of Swiss-based organisations & initiatives that support purpose-driven entrepreneurs in the water and sanitation sectors, we made a promise to join hands to increase our visibility and clout. We did this for two reasons: first, so that entrepreneurs who are in need of support can find us more easily. And second, because we believe that together, we can multiply our intended impact.

This will be the second time that the SWEP will contribute to the World Water Week. Except that this year, the “S” in our acronym does no longer stand for Swiss, but for Sanitation, as we are one step closer to our vision: creating a global, networked, collaborative and cost-effective “one-stop-shop” (i.e. from idea to scale) for purpose-driven entrepreneurship in water and sanitation.

Concretely, SWEP will co-host a full-day seminar, entitled “Entrepreneurship Driving Water Impact for All” dedicated to the role of entrepreneurship in realising a water wise world for all. Together with the Ministry of Environment of South Korea, the Inter-American Development Bank and the San Miguel Holding Corporation, they will share best practices and define concrete actions for accelerating the impact of entrepreneurs globally.

So, if you are planning to be in Stockholm, reserve Sunday 25 August 2019 to participate in one, two or all three sessions of the day.Expect inspiring speakersplayful exploring and deep conversations, including a marketplace for entrepreneurs and investors.More to be announced soon!

* Membership of the SWEP is open to any enabling organisation that shares the values and is willing to contribute to the vision of the SWEP. Current members are the Antenna Foundation, cewas, the Swiss Bluetec Bridge and Waterpreneurs. Aqua for All, the Swiss Water Partnership and the Toilet Board Coalition are strategic partners. For inquiries:

Looking back on the SWP General Assembly 2019

At this year’s SWP General Assembly (12th June), 37 participants from 29 SWP member organizations had the chance to learn more about the Swiss Association of Water Utilities (Schweizerischer Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches – SVGW) and the Swiss Water Supply Sector and to discover the Zürich Water Utility (ZüriWasser) during a guided tour. (Access the Minutes from the Statutory Part HERE.)

Presentation on “How SVGW supports the drinking water sector”

André Olschewski (SVGW) presented “How SVGW supports the drinking water sector” (Swiss Water Supply Report). Swiss Association of Water Utilities (Schweizerischer Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches – SVGW) represents 530 drinking water utilities and 70 % of population served. He presented the organisation of the network, key technical processes (Water safety plan and quality control – HACCP), the legal basis, roles and responsibilities, as well as the funding structure and some political issues in Switzerland. He provided us with following key facts on water and the major challenges for the Swiss water supply sector insights:

Key facts on water in Switzerland:

  • Even though there was a population growth in Switzerland, the consumption of water decreased due to technical innovation and efficiency. It creates the challenges of a reduced flow in pipes as well as less income for the utilities.
  • About 70% of water distributed does not need major treatment.
  • The average daily consumption per capita in households is at 142 liter, while it is at 300 liter including the industrial sector. As the costs of 1 m3 are at 2 CHF, the average costs per capita in a household are at 0.30 CHF/ day.
  • Most water in Switzerland is provided through groundwater (396 Mio m3/ year) and springs (357 Mio m3/ year). Less than a quarter comes from surface water (180 Mio m3/ year)

Sustainable financing and governance of water supply by communities:

  • A large part from funding is covered by member fees and not by public funding. The utilities need to reinvest 51 Mrd CHF per year to keep the level of infrastructure (replacement value) and is mainly used for replacing the distribution system (79% of replacement value).
  • The key organizational principle is the subsidiarity principle: It is the task of the communes to provide water, but cantons are owner of the water bodies.

Recruitment for the sector:

  • Young professionals do not want to take the jobs in the water sector.

Climate change adaptation:

  • The groundwater table in 2018 was extremely low. It was considered to adapt the water activities in the cantons.

Protection of water supply resources from pollution – A political issue:

  • The protection of water is necessary against pollution from pesticides or other inputs (i.e. Atrazine, Chlorothalonil, 70 % of groundwater sampling sites with main land use farmland show concentration of pesticides or metabolites > 0.1 µg/L, unknown impact of cocktail of pesticides in ground- and drinking water). Drinking water is safe, but there are regional exceptions. For some inputs, it would need 10 years to decrease the concentration in groundwater. There are two political initiatives in Switzerland to protect water bodies. SVWB supports a third way, which focuses on water quality (after the initiative on establishing protection zones failed). The Steering Board of SVGW is currently discussing different possible ways how to influence this political issue (Lenkungsabgabe, influencing laws, etc.).

SVGW and the international context:

  • André Olschewski misses the discussion on SDG6 within SVGW. He supports the idea that if pesticides are banned in Switzerland, it should be also banned in other countries.

The SWP secretariat encourages SWP members to send a request to link up with SVGW (i.e. vocational training from SVGW, etc.).

(Access the Minutes from the Statutory Part HERE.)

Presentation by ZüriWasser on “Clean and safe drinking water for everyone“ (Dr. Jakob Helbing, Philipp Schneider)

Dr. Jakob Helbling (Qualitätsüberwachung Verfahrenstechnik) from ZüriWasser presented how the water utility in Zürich provides “Clean and safe drinking water for everyone“. Its main task is to provide water supply and water for firefighting to 400’000 inhabitants of the city of Zürich and to 506’000 inhabitants in different communes on a contractual basis. The water production from different sources, the distribution, the water quality and storage in Zürich was presented:

Lake water treatment and its historic development

  • In 1869, the first water supply system with pipes, two different pressure zones and a pumping station was created. Before this time, only fountains were used.
  • In 1884, the city of Zürich found out that a typhus epidemia was caused by drinking water from the main river Limat. This led the first time to the question how safe it is to drink “lake water” and if it should be allowed to fetch water only from spring water. The city of Zürich concluded that lake water can be safe if it is treated, leading to the fact that also today most of the water supply is provided from lake water in Zurich (70 % lake water, 15 % spring water, 15 % groundwater).
  • One year later, in 1885, the first lake water treatment plant was constructed.
  • In 1911, the first sand filtration lake water treatment at Moos was built and is still in use. It has a capacity of 100’000 m3/ day, including 20’000 spring water. Today the infrastructure the treatment plant in Moos is ageing. However, innovative technologies are difficult to install, as the building, infrastructure and even the grass are under protection.
  • In 1960, the lake water treatment plant in Lengg was built. It is an underground water treatment facility that extracts lake water from 30 m depth. The water is relatively safe in this depth as the main pollution from ships and surroundings remains in the upper surface water layers. The treatment plants are in highest use in Spring and Autumn when there is the water takeover (due to anomalous property of water at 4° C)
  • To produce clean water from the lake water in Zürich it needs several steps (i.e Ozonation, Sand filtration and BAC filtration). There is no chlorination of the water to avoid the bad taste (the idea of chlorination is strictly “forbidden” by the management).

Groundwater plant and fountains in case of an emergency

  • The groundwater plant in Hardhof is mainly used as an emergency supply. Its advantage is that it can fill gaps of low water provision: In contrary to lake water treatment plants which need a constant flow, groundwater can be taken out only if needed.
  • As the summer 2018 was a record year and caused the highest demand of water ever, the need of an emergency water supply system through groundwater became more evident, despite its high cost to maintain the system.
  • To enrich the water with oxygen and to avoid pollution during the groundwater recharge, a combination of oxygen enrichment basins, underground wells for infiltration and pump system is used: The water is pumped up behind the oxygen enrichment basins and the wells, so that a hydrostatic barrier is established. This avoids that fresh water is mixed with contaminated water from the nearby highway and railway system.
  • There are 85 emergency water fountains in Zürich, which are connected with hospitals to provide them first with water in case of an emergency. An emergency status of water provision would only arise if there would be no electricity for three weeks. The electricity is needed for the water pumping stations.

Distribution systems

  • The lake of Zürich is surrounded by a large ring pipe system, which distributes the water in smaller pipe systems and into different pressure zones.
  • In total the distribution system is 1550 km long and has 8000 Hydranten
  • The yearly rate to renew pipes is at 30 km.
  • There are 500 leakages in pipes with around 5-10 % water losses (not official numbers as it is difficult to say).

Water quality testing

  • Drinking water is foodstuffs. Its control is based on self-control and the HACCP concept (Water safety plan and quality control).
  • The quality control of drinking water is measured through 1400 lab parameters and 14000 samples/ year. It involves 450 online sensors and 4 biosensors (i.e. fish and Daphnia which are commonly known as water fleas). As the evaluation of most parameters need several days, biosensors are pretty important for immediate quality concerns. For example, the movement of the Daphnia turns out to be a quite good indicator, as the Daphnia immediately moves abnormal (linear instead of in circles) if there is any water quality concern. Even though the movement is tracked by a high-tech machine, the technique remains labour-intensive as ageing (2-weeks-old) and rapidly reproducing Daphnia needs to be taken out by hand. For the future measurement of water quality control, it was questioned, if it is necessary to measure even more parameters as it becomes more expensive and the legal framework is not even given.
  • The access to data on water quality collected by ZüriWasser is not open, but can be shared upon request.

Storage and energy consumption

  • To fill the water storage reservoirs in Zürich, water is pumped in during the night. This is done during the night because large amounts of energy are needed to keep and thus the electricity system needs to be kept stable. ZüriWasser has the second largest energy consumption in Zürich. Thus, using renewable energy become more important for them and is currently worked on in a project in cooperation with the energy utility provider (EWZ).

It was a great opportunity for the SWP members to learn more about the water provision in Zürich and in Switzerland. We are grateful to this years host SVGW and ZüriWasser for providing us such interesting insights and for welcoming us at the groundwater plant at Hardhof.

The afternoon part was dedicated to the statutory part including practical discussion groups on the topics of youth, Dispatch on Swiss International Cooperation, Climate Change and Water.

It was also the moment to say goodbye to Agnès Montangero, Secretary General, and Thomas Zeller, Co-Chair of the SWP, both active since 2012. The SWP is highly grateful for their valuable contributions and high quality inputs for shaping the Swiss Water Partnership. Bernita Dornboos was welcomed as new Secretary General and the platform is looking forward to working with her for the new SWP phase 2019-2021. We wish her good luck with the new assignment.

Former Co-Chair Thomas Zeller and Secretary General Agnès Montangero, 12th June 2019.

(Access the Minutes from the Statutory Part HERE.)

Internship Opportunity for Swiss Residents

Skat Consulting Ltd. is offering an opportunity for recent graduates or young professionals to conduct an internship within Skat headquarter in St-Gallen. The trainee will support the planning, preparation, organisation, implementation and evaluation of activities of the SDC water network “RésEAU”.

Location: The internship will be based in St-Gallen.

Duration: The working time is preferably 60% for 10 months with a start planned on 16th of September 2019. Both working time and duration period are subject to discussion with the candidate.

This internship is an excellent opportunity to gain insights in Swiss development cooperation and acquire experience in innovative approaches for water.

Please share this opportunity with your networks.

New CAS in Water Sanitation and Hygiene for humanitarian and developing contexts


Course Objectives 

The course is designed to provide professionals with a thorough understanding of the increasing complexities of the WASH sector. It provides students with the latest contextual and technical skills to plan, design and implement sustainable activities and programmes within the framework of the fundamental principles of the WASH sector, namely public health and equitable access to water supply and sanitation services. Designed to contribute to Agenda 2030 (SDG 6) by focusing on all aspects of sustainable WASH interventions, this course is strongly practice-oriented, allowing a direct link between theory and reality/complexity on the ground. After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify and analyse context-specific challenges and plan tailor-made WASH interventions to improve sustainable access to WASH services and facilities in complex institutional environments, both in the field of cooperation and humanitarian aid
  • Conduct a context-specific public health risk analysis of inadequate WASH services and design appropriate prevention strategies
  • Conduct a systematic analysis of environmental, social and technical problems, both in urban and rural contexts, and design appropriate intervention strategies.
  • Confidently implement the wide range of advanced WASH intervention tools: from specific technical approaches in water supply and sanitation to current approaches developed in the field of hygiene promotion, as well as sectoral assessment tools.

Participants and prerequisite 

The course caters to those working in, or supporting work in low- and middle-income countries and is ideal for professionals working in: 

  • Civil society or non-government organizations 
  • International development and humanitarian agencies 
  • Government agencies 
  • Consultants and sector professionals 
  • Prerequisite: Professionals in WASH and development related disciplines, wishing to deepen their knowledge in water, sanitation and hygiene in both humanitarian and development contexts. 

Certificate and exams

The Certificate of Advanced Studies will be granted after having completed each of the final exams of the three modules. The CAS WASH grants 12 ECTS points.


CHF 5’700.–. This fee includes teaching, materials, coffee breaks, lunches and 2 social dinners. The fee does not include transportation, accommodation and other meals. The organizer will give support to finding suitable accommodation at a reasonable price. Provided there is enough space, participants who do not wish to follow the whole CAS can register separately for each module.

Fee for a single module is CHF 2’000.–. The Programme Management has no funding provisions for applicants of this course.

Organising partners

  • SUPSI, University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland, Centre for Development and Cooperation, Lugano-Canobbio (lead)
  • Eawag-Sandec, Department of Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development, Dübendorf
  • UNINE, The Centre for Hydrogeology and Geothermics, Neuchâtel


  • SUPSI, Centre for Development and Cooperation
    Campus Trevano, Via Trevano, 6952 Canobbio
  • Eawag-Sandec, Department of Sanitation, Water and Solid
    Waste for Development
    Überlandstrasse 133, CH-8600 Dübendorf
  • UNINE, The Centre for Hydrogeology and Geothermics
    Bâtiment UniMail, Rue Emile-Argand 11, 2000 Neuchâtel

For more details please consult 


Swiss Junior Water Prize 2019

Zamir Borojevic from Binningen (BL) wins the Swiss Junior Water Prize 2019

Raperswill (4th May 2019) – The national contest for young researchers, Swiss Youth in Science, closed its 53th edition recognising the efforts of the 109 participants who made it to the final. The Swiss Junior Water Prize 2019 was granted to Zamir Borojevic, a talented young student (19) from the  from the Gymnasium Oberwil (BL)  for his work Tardigrada – Bärtierchen unter dem Einfluss von Säuren / Laugen und UV-C Licht”, a research on a species highly resistant to extreme environmental conditions, found in most water bodies, moss and sediment.

The awarded entry is a meticulous research project that experimentally tested the tolerance limits of Hypsibius exemplaris to acidic and alkaline fluids as well as UV-C radiation. Works researching on various extreme environmental conditions are winning importance in the face of climate change, thus understanding the defence and adaptation mechanisms in different species is crucial in contributing to finding solutions for protecting the environment. In this sense, Zamir produced with his experiments a very solid data basis and presents an interesting view on the tiny tardigrades, which count among the toughest species to be found in water bodies and humid environments.

The jury of Swiss Youth in Science acknowledged Zamir´s work the distinction “excellent” and commented with the following words “Zamir Borojevic involved himself deeply in his project with tardigrades and the mechanisms of cryptobiosis, a condition in which an organism does not show any obvious signs of life and whose metabolic activity is difficult to detect. How the tardigrades manage to adapt to rapidly changing environmental conditions without damaging their cells is still largely unclear. With his work, Zamir Borojevic provides a further insight into the fascinating skills of tardigrades”

About Swiss Junior Water Prize

The Swiss Junior Water Prize recognizes young students between 15 and 20 years old, who have conducted outstanding school projects related to water and sanitation with proven environmental, scientific, social or technological significance. The winner is entitled to represent Switzerland in the international competition Stockholm Junior Water Prize, held during the World Water Week. The Swiss Junior Water Prize is a joint effort of the Swiss Water Partnership and the Swiss Toilet Organisation, aiming to encourage Swiss Youth to grow an interest in water and sustainability issues.



The Swiss Junior Water Prize can be carried out thanks to the sponsorship of the following organisations.

Skat Consulting Ltd.

Xlylem, Inc.

A special recognition to VSA for their contribution to enhancing the visibility of the Swiss Junior Water Prize within the water sector.


By interest to support the Swiss Junior Water Prize, please contact or

Social Media





Public consultations started on Switzerland's new strategic approach to international cooperation

Swiss development cooperation is to become more focused, making it more effective.

This is the proposed strategic approach for Switzerland’s international cooperation, submitted for optional public consultation by the Federal Department for Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the Federal Department for Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) on 2 May 2019.

Dispatch on Switzerland’s International Cooperation 2021–24

the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Human Security Division (HSD) of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), together with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), have been working for several months on the draft Dispatch on Switzerland’s International Cooperation 2021–24. This process began in summer 2018 and will continue until the draft is adopted by the Federal Council and by Parliament in 2020.

The FDFA and the EAER have for the first time decided to launch an optional public consultation in order to gather input from the cantons, political parties, umbrella associations and other stakeholders involved in Switzerland’s international cooperation. The consultation will run from 2 May to 23 August 2019. A press conference and a press release are planned for the launch.

All the documents relating to this consultation are now available in Switzerland’s official languages from 2 May on the Federal Chancellery’s website and on a dedicated web page.

Have a look at the MEDIA RELEASE.