Measures for water protection

The federal water protection legislation promotes the rehabilitation of rivers and lakes with a view to restoring their natural functions and boosting their social benefits. An additional treatment stage shall be added to wastewater treatment plants to reduce micropollutant levels in water bodies.

Restoration of surface waters

Restoration of surface waters requires sufficient space provided for waters, rehabilitation projects and the reduction of negative impacts due to hydropower exploitation. For example, hydropeaking is to be eliminated, the bed load budget must be restored, fish migration must be ensured and the residual water regulations must be implemented.


Wastewater treatment is a success story. Thanks to the virtually nationwide expansion of wastewater treatment plants, water quality in Switzerland has improved greatly in recent decades. The next step is to remove micropollutants. A prerequisite for wastewater treatment to continue to function in the future is charges based on the polluter-pays principle.

High-level instruments

The FOEN provides various instruments, for example watershed management, to ensure that watercourses and water bodies can be protected in a way that does not interfere with the use of water and the protection against water hazards.

Last modification 23.08.2022

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