Topic Water

Starting with the origin of Switzerland’s abundant water resources, the high amount of precipitation in the Alps, relevant hydrological, water management, social and environmental aspects of water are considered.

Since a large part of Switzerland’s precipitation falls as snow, the storage of water in snow and glaciers plays an important role in the seasonal distribution of runoff, especially in high-altitude catchments. Hydropower, fisheries and recreation depend on reliable runoff. Water therefore has environmental, cultural and economic functions that may at times conflict with one another.



Evolution of the volume of water stored in Swiss glaciers (Rhone and Rhine river basins, Engadine and Ticino). Since the end of the Little Ice Age around 1850, the glacier volume has decreased by half. More than 70% of the remaining volume should be gone by the end of this century. FOEN, 2012.

Water quantities in Switzerland

Wieviel Wasser hat die Schweiz? Wieviel ist in Gletschern gespeichert? Wie gross sind die aktuellen Abflüsse?
promotion of young researchers

Wege durch die Wasserwelt – Hydrologische Exkursionen in der Schweiz

Entdecken Sie die Wasserwelt Schweiz! Exkursionen und Veranstaltungen.
low-pressure system above the north atlantic

Source regions

Woher kommt das Wasser? Welche Wetterlagen bringen starke Niederschläge bzw. Trockenheit?

About the Swiss portal water

The portal “Water” is a product of the Swiss Hydrological Commission (CHy) of the Swiss National Academy of Sciences (SCNAT).