Freshwater - Drivers and pressures (Switzerland)
Regarding water quantity, Switzerland, as part of the Alpine region, serves as a ’water tower‘ with abundant water resources, of which only a small fraction is abstracted. This is reflected in a low water exploitation index.
In terms of water quality, in Switzerland to date, annually 1.5 billion m3 of wastewater are generated, of which 1.45 billion m3 are municipal wastewater; the rest is industrial and hospital effluent.
Adverse impacts of diffuse pollution to surface and groundwater need to be considered both in urban and built-up areas (wet-weather discharges or pollutant inputs from heavily used traffic routes) and in agricultural areas (discharge of fertilisers and pesticides via seepage, leaching, erosion, run-off or deposition).