General Assembly 2020 - Background Documents

Dear SWP Members

Please find hereafter the presentations from the SWP General Assembly 2020:

Please find hereafter the background documents for the General Assembly on 17 September 2020:

In case of any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the SWP Secretariat.

 

WWWeek at home 2020 - SWP Sessions

On 27 August 2020 the World Water Week at home has successfully come to an end with the Swiss Water Partnership co-hosting three sessions: “Switzerland: Blessing or Curse for Water in the World?, “Water Data Scarcity – overcoming gaps for decision-making towards climate resilience” and Solving the Water-Climate-Puzzle by connecting youth stories and decision-makers. All sessions with a total of 19 conveners attracted around 200 attendees from 28 different countries. By clicking on the title you can watch the recording of the session.

Switzerland: Blessing or Curse for the Water in the World? 

Sustainable water use in the face of increasing climate risks is the responsibility of all stakeholders linked through global supply chains. In this session, Swiss water sector players shared their experiences and viewpoints on Switzerland’s key role in water stewardship around the globe from four angles, actively engaging participants.

Switzerland is often portrayed as one of the leaders in responsible water management and WASH innovation. While certainly contributing to improved water management and governance around the globe, it has at the same time a significant water footprint: A remarkable 82% results from imported goods and services, often from water-scarce regions affected by climate change. The influence of the tiny alpine nation reaches far beyond its borders, not only due to multinational corporations with seats in Switzerland but also as the world’s biggest offshore banking and financial marketplace, and as seat of 65 of the world’s largest shipping companies controlling 22% of the global maritime trade.

The session demonstrated four angles of Switzerland’s role in responsible water use and stewardship in relation to climate resilience around the globe:

  1. Experience with the use of innovative technology for measuring water use for climate-resilient agriculture at local level.
  2. Cases of Swiss international development support to small-scale producers to optimize climate-smart water use in agricultural value chains.
  3. Progress and challenges on Swiss policy on virtual water trade.
  4. Ways forward to reduce the water and carbon footprint through consumption decisions of Swiss consumers and retailers.

The key messages of the session were:

  1. Swiss actors and their partners are actively contributing solutions to SDG 6.4 on water.
  2. It is not only about optimising water use. Often the use of inputs and other resources can be optimised, for greater local incomes and environmental sustainability. These multiple dimensions of water use need to be increasingly considered.
  3. Stakeholders, linked through global supply chains, have different roles and responsibilities in sustainable water and resource use, through their decisions.

Water Data Scarcity – overcoming gaps for decision-making towards climate resilience

Water data scarcity highly impacts decision-making in water resource policy and management. This session provides insights into current developments and cost-effective solutions to overcome water data scarcity for making informed decisions towards climate resilience. It enables the participants to learn and share their best practices in addressing water data gaps.

When water policy is not based on facts, it becomes jeopardized by individual aims and biases, losing sight of clear goals in view of society’s benefit. Water data scarcity is therefore a major cause for reduced effectivity of water policies as well as for the incapability of communities to take informed decisions towards climate-resilient water management.

Relevant data on water resources and its policies must be reliably collected, trustworthy managed, and comprehensively presented to decision-makers. Trust can only evolve, if the data acquisition, aggregation and transfer to policy-making is handled transparently and conclusions are reproducible.

Progress in recent technology has opened new opportunities for collecting, aggregating, storing as well as communicating data. Nowadays beneficiaries can be involved easily and thus can develop ownership. At the same time, the validation of data can become more challenging.

The key messages of the session were:

  1. Reliable, open data is needed and it has to be defined which institution is in charge.
  2. With low-cost data collection with inclusion of the local communities we can increase awareness and get more reliable data.
  3. For policy reforms concerning climate change, long-time series need to be collected, starting now to see trends and to know where we are heading to.

Solving the Water-Climate-Puzzle by connecting youth stories and decision-makers

This session explored ways to solve and make connections that build into the Water-Climate-Puzzle by using youth stories as a dynamic narrative and to connect them with decision-makers to bridge the gap between science, policy and generations.

The impacts of climate change manifests itself most visibly through water and the future generations are at risk! Showcasing real stories from across the globe, we opened a dialogue with decision-makers on how policies affect the life of young people and how young leaders provide concrete, tangible answers to climate and water challenges and aim to influence decision-making. The session tried to answer the following question: How can policy makers effectively incorporate insights and lessons from youth-led initiatives in the water-climate nexus? The format of the webinar was dedicated breakout sessions allowing deepdive discussions on research, advocacy and from the field, bringing together young leaders and decision makers. The session was cartoon live and streamed online. 

The key messages of this session were:

More than mere beneficiaries, youth are central actors and stakeholders in the achievement of the sustainable development goals related to the water and climate nexus. Worldwide, young women and men are proposing and implementing concrete solutions in the fields of research, advocacy and on the field. To be successful the youth needs to be perseverant. “Dare to be bold! Make sure you are heard! Please realise your knowledge is at the forefront of what is available in the sector, please share it. Don’t be discouraged by the slowness of the sector to embrace new things!” said Mr Pim van der Male. If young leaders have the responsibility to be Strong-willed, they should not have to handle the burden of changing water policy-making on their own. We have a common responsibility. The importance of dialogue is thus reaffirmed. In order for young people and decision-makers to work together, we must multiply the spaces for dialogue and the development of a common vision.

WWWeek at home

To help bridge the gap between the 2019 and 2021 World Water Weeks, SIWI is inviting you to join the WWWeek At Home between 24 and 28 August 2020. WWWeek At Home will bring together convenor-hosted, virtual adaptations of sessions on water and climate change originally destined for World Water Week 2020.

Swiss Water Partnership is co-convening four sessions:

Wednesday 26 August 2020

1 pm (CET): Solving the Water-Climate-Puzzle by connecting youth stories and decision-makers

Thursday 27 August 2020

10 am (CET): Co-Benefits of Implementing NBS for Climate-Related Water and Flood Management

2 pm (CET): Switzerland: Blessing or Curse for Water in the World?

3 pm (CET): Water DATA scarcity– overcoming gaps for decision-making towards climate resilience

Click on the links to find out more about the sessions and register.

Support the Swiss Finalist until the 10th August!

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2020 is carried out online! Despite the challenges that COVID-19 brought to all areas, 30 countries managed to pull out their national competitions and the selected projects are competing to win the international award.

Additionally to the prestigious prize, which will be designated as usual by the jury of international water experts, for the first time ever a finalist will be recognised with the People´s Choice Award, giving the audience the possibility to support their favourite projects. The interesting point about this award is that the winner could have the opportunity to visit the Stockholm World Water Week next year as a special guest, compensating for the cancelled event in 2020.
The Swiss finalist is Anna Sidonia Marugg, who conducted an excellent project researching on the presence of microplastics in alpine water systems. Support Anna Sidonia´s passion for science by voting for her amazing project!
You can see the Swiss entry here

Sponsors

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

Swiss Entry to the Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2020

Despite the cancellation of the Stockholm World Water Week 2020, the Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2020 will be carried out in a modified format. Most countries were able to pull out National Contests under the current challenging situation, and the finalists have already submitted their projects to be evaluated by the international jury. This year, after the jury evaluates the written projects, only a reduced number of finalists will be interviewed by the seven members of the jury using online platforms. The award ceremony will take place during the week of the 24th to 27th August 2020 and it will be broadcasted live.

A welcome addition to the contest are the finalists´ video presentations, or elevator pitches, which are now available on the SJWP Finalists´ platform, WaterTank. A “People´s Choice Award” is expected to be chosen by audience voting on the video presentations. The Swiss finalist Anna Sidonia Marugg made an attractive presentation of her project “First Evidence of Microplastics in the Waters of the Upper Engadine in Switzerland”

See Anna Sidonia Marugg´s project description and elevator pitch here

Sponsors

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

Skat Consulting Ltd.

Xlylem, Inc.

Contact

By interest to support the Swiss Junior Water Prize, please contact karla.schlie@swisstoilet.org or Sandra.Fuerst@swisswaterpartnership.ch

Social Media

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Swiss Junior Water Prize 2020

Swiss Junior Water Prize 2020 - Anna Sidonia Marugg

Anna Sidonia Marugg from Zuoz (GB) wins the Swiss Junior Water Prize 2020

Bern (24th April 2020) – The national contest for young researchers, Swiss Youth in Science, celebrated its 54th edition with the participation of 136 finalists from 20 cantons. This year, the competition had to be conducted online, which meant a considerable challenge for the organisers as well as for the participants. The Swiss Junior Water Prize 2020 was granted to Anna Sidonia Marugg, a talented young student from the Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz (GR), for her work “Erstnachweis von Mikroplastik in den Gewässern des Oberengadins” a research on the presence of microplastics in alpine water systems, some of them considerably close to the water springs.

The awarded entry is a highly interdisciplinary project in collaboration with the University of Basel. Anna Sidonia used a LADI-trawl of her own manufacture to collect samples in different water bodies in Oberengadin, where data of microplastics are not available yet. She established 8 different collection sites and was able to collect microplastics from all of them. In the laboratory, she could divide her findings in 22 types of microplastics, which she then analysed using further parameters like size of the collected pieces, frequency of occurrence, distance of the sample site to the water spring, population density or land use for sports and leisure areas in the vicinity of the sample site. Her findings surprise in the variety of microplastics that can be found in places commonly regarded as idyllic untouched nature. Anna Sidonia´s self-constructed LADI-trawl proved to be light and portable enough to be used by one person in remote areas where the use of motorboats is not possible. This device has potential to be broadly used by schools.

The jury of Swiss Youth in Science acknowledged Anna Sidonia´s work the distinction “excellent” and commented with the following words “The work presented here by Anna Sidonia Marugg was a highly interdisciplinary project in collaboration with the University of Basel and the Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz and required a high degree of commitment, independence and a structured approach which was implemented with bravery. Data on microplastics in the alpine region are not yet available. This work makes an important contribution to generate scientifically sound knowledge concerning the quantity and occurrence of microplastics in the Alpine region.” (Original Text in German, translation from Karla Schlie)

See Anna Sidonia Marugg´s project presentation here (YouTube, German)

The summary of Anna Sidonia Marugg´s work can be found here (SJf, German)

About Swiss Junior Water Prize

The Swiss Junior Water Prize recognises 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. 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.

Sponsors

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.

Contact

By interest to support the Swiss Junior Water Prize, please contact karla.schlie@swisstoilet.org or Sandra.Fuerst@skat.ch

Social Media

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

 

Swiss investment in long-term water and sanitation solutions

The COVID-19 pandemic is a health crisis but also has far-reaching social and economic consequences. The spread of the virus is closely related to water and sanitation as access to water, sanitation and hygiene is a fundamental determinant of health. Safely managed water, sanitation and hygiene services are an essential part of preventing disease and protecting human health during infectious disease outbreaks. Frequent and proper hand hygiene is one of the most important prevention measures and can reduce the transmission of diseases like COVID-19. Through good WASH facilities many co-benefits will be realized, including preventing millions of deaths each year caused by other infectious diseases. Today billions of people all over the world lack safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. COVID-19 is an illustration of existing vulnerabilities and inequalities in our world. As the virus spreads throughout the world, it is increasingly clear that people with the least access to essential services like water will feel the most dramatic effects.

The Swiss Water Partnership and its’ members are active to provide knowledge, innovative solutions and sustainable infrastructure to the poorest of the world. Investing in long-term water security and access to clean water and sanitation is essential for public health. The collaboration in the network supports the achievement of the goal of a sustainable provision of universal access to drinking water and sanitation for all citizens. Swiss know-how and experiences will help other countries to address these challenges.

Matura Mentoring Initiative

Discover fascinating aspects of water by researching on some of the most relevant aspects that the aquatic sector has to offer. The expertise of the members of the Swiss Water Partnership is available to young students willing to explore up-to-date water subjects for their Matura or graduation works.

Browse through the list of available subjects to get inspired and get in touch with us to be connected with one of our committed experts. S/he will provide you guidance on the topic of your Matura work. If you already have another water-related subject in mind which is not listed, we are happy to hear from you, so we try to find a water professional with the expertise you need.

Contacts for Matura Mentoring Initiative:

Luca Schaufelberger

SWP Youth Group member

Matura Mentoring Initiative

luca.schaufelberger@bluewin.ch

Karla Schlie

Swiss Toilet Organisation

Coordination Swiss Junior Water Prize

karla.schlie@swisstoilet.org