NRP 61 Sustainable Water Management

The National Research Programme “Sustainable Water Management” (NRP 61) developed scientific foundations and methods for sustainable management of water resources, which are under increasing pressure. NRP 61 determined the effects of climate and social changes on these resources and identified the risks and future conflicts associated with their use. The NRP developed strategies for ensuring sustainable and integrated water resources management also in the future.

Facts & figures

Overall funding

CHF 12'000'000

Period of research

4 years

President of the Steering Committee

Christian Leibundgut

Head of Knowledge transfer

Patricia Fry, Wissensmanagement Umwelt GmbH, Zürich

Programme co-ordinator

Barbara Flückiger Schwarzenbach, SNSF

Results and final products



Overall synthesis

Thematic syntheses 1-4


  1. Wasserressourcen der Schweiz: Dargebot und Nutzung – heute und morgen 2015, Astrid Björnsen Gurung und Manfred Stähli (PDF)
  2. Bewirtschaftung der Wasserressourcen unter steigendem Nutzungsdruck 2015, Klaus Lanz, Eric Rahn, Rosi Siber und Christian Stamm (PDF)
  3. Nachhaltige Wasserversorgung und Abwasserentsorgung in der Schweiz: Herausforderungen und Handlungsoptionen 2015, Sabine Hoffmann, Daniel Hunkeler und Max Maurer (PDF)
  4. Nachhaltige Wassergouvernanz: Herausforderungen und Wege in die Zukunft 2015, Franziska Schmid, Felix Walter, Flurina Schneider und Stephan Rist (PDF)


  1. Ressources en eau de la Suisse: ressources disponibles et utilisation – aujourd’hui et demain Astrid Björnsen Gurung et Manfred Stähli (PDF)
  2. La gestion des ressources en eau face à la pression accrue de leur utilisation Klaus Lanz, Eric Rahn, Rosi Siber et Christian Stamm (PDF)
  3. Approvisionnement en eau et assainissement des eaux usées durables en Suisse: défis et mesures possibles Sabine Hoffmann, Daniel Hunkeler et Max Maurer (PDF)
  4. Gouvernance durable de l’eau: enjeux et voies pour l’avenir Franziska Schmid, Felix Walter, Flurina Schneider et Stephan Rist (PDF)

Projects and results

AGWAM: Increasing water scarcity, also for Swiss agriculture

DROUGHT-CH: Are we prepared for droughts?

FUGE: Glacier retreat – still sufficient water for hydroelectric power production?

GW-TEMP: Understanding how climate change is affecting groundwater

GW-TREND: Groundwater shortage due to climate change?

HYDROSERV: Sustainable safeguarding of water resources

IWAGO: Towards integrative water governance

IWAQA: Integrated river water quality management

MONTANAQUA: Water management in times of scarcity and climate change

NELAK: Lakes as a consequence of melting glaciers: opportunities and risks

RIBACLIM: Is drinking water derived from rivers still clean enough?

SACFLOOD: How is the flood hazard in the Alps evolving?

SEDRIVER: More floods – more sediment transport – less fish?

SWIP: Sustainable water infrastructure planning

SWISSKARST: Karstic waters, a water resource for the future?

WATERCHANNELS: Water channels - a model for sustainable water use

Other publications

For all research projects, short video clips “Insights” were produced. At the end of the programme, ten video clips followed which present an outlook on the topics "Melting glaciers", "Water resources of the future", "More frequent droughts", "Expanding urban developments" and "Water management".