Switzerland is often called “Europe’s water reservoir”. Hydropower is the country's most important renewable energysource.

The Rhein Falls near Schaffhausen
The Rhine Falls at Schaffhausen © Beat Presser

Switzerland is the source of 6% of Europe’s freshwater reserves. These reserves come from precipitation, spring waters and snow and glacier run-offs. Lakes and rivers in Switzerland come in many different forms. 

Switzerland is renowned for the high quality of its groundwater, which provides 80% of drinking and industrial water. The quality of drinking water is particularly high. Roughly 40% of drinking water does not require treatment before it reaches consumers. 

Swiss households consume an average of 162 litres of water per day. Total daily water consumption (including industry, commerce and agriculture) in Switzerland has fallen by around 30% since the 1980s, even though the population has grown. This reduction is primarily due to the relocation of water-intensive industries to other countries and an increase in the use of water-efficient household appliances. 

Hydropower is Switzerland’s most important renewable energy source. Today, it accounts for 56% of electricity production in Switzerland. Two-thirds are generated in the mountain regions of Bern, Uri, Graubünden, Ticino and Valais.