Watershed Management

Guiding Principles for Integrated Management of Water in Switzerland

The pressure on water resources, increasing conflicts of interest and complex river systems represent a huge challenge. The small-scale, sectoral structures of water management are now reaching their limits. The integrated management of water in the catchment area – watershed management for short – requires a new level of consideration: water bodies are to be viewed in the context of the whole river system and managed as a unit within their watersheds.

Watershed Management

This document introduces the principles of this approach. It serves as a policy framework for the water management stakeholders in cantons, regions and communes. The Guiding Principles have been developed by the network of stakeholders in Swiss water management called Water Agenda 21, and are therefore widely supported. They can provide the impetus for modern water management which covers both protection and user interests.

Source: Water Agenda 21 (pub.), 2011: Watershed Management. Guiding Principles for Integrated Management of Water in Switzerland. Bern, 20 pages.


  • Adaptation
  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Water resource management
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