Freshwater - Why care? (Switzerland)
Rivers, streams and lakes are vital resources for humans, wildlife and plants. They shape landscapes, transport water and sediment, help to maintain the natural balance of ecosystems and are used for many purposes. However, their capacity to fulfill these functions is impaired by man-made structures, hydropower generation and high-intensity industrial or agricultural use.
Groundwater provides over 80 % of the Swiss drinking water and is therefore given a high protection priority. Groundwater is also a central element in the natural hydrological cycle, feeding the base flow of rivers and sustaining valuable habitats such as spring biotopes, swamps and wetlands.
This document is part of the SOER 2015 product.