Department Environmental Social Sciences

Water Supply Structures in the Canton of Basel-Landschaft


Decentralized and small organizational structures characterize the water supply sector in the Canton of Basel-Landschaft. Each municipality generally has its own waterworks. Only a few larger, joint waterworks exist – i.e., more centralized structures with shared ownership and operation between multiple municipalities. These current structures, however,  increasingly reach their limits to meet present and future water supply challenges. Specifically, the small waterworks face increasing difficulties due to rising quality and quantity demands as they often lack funds and know-how.

Given this context, the project aims to shed light onto potentially viable future water supply structures in different regions of the Canton of Basel-Landschaft. To accomplish this objective, the research project involves the following steps:

(1) an analysis of the current water supply structures’ strengths and weaknesses in the canton for coping with the major present and future challenges;

(2) an evaluation of the pros and cons of alternative structures (e.g., more centralized or cross-sector forms with different financing models and regulations) based on analyzing the few existing joint waterworks in the canton as well as other structures for water supply and other sectors (e.g., electric power supply, wastewater) in Switzerland;

(3) the development of recommendations for the public authorities regarding the applicability of these alternative structures in the Canton of Basel-Landschaft, potential obstacles and how to foster their implementation.

Project Team

Prof. Dr. Karin Ingold Group leader, Cluster: PEGO Tel. +41 58 765 5676 Send Mail

External team members

Related Publications

Lienert, J.; Schnetzer, F.; Ingold, K. (2013) Stakeholder analysis combined with social network analysis provides fine-grained insights into water infrastructure planning processes, Journal of Environmental Management, 125, 134-148, doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.03.052, Institutional Repository
Lieberherr, E.; Klinke, A.; Finger, M. (2012) Towards legitimate water governance? The partially privatized Berlin waterworks, Public Management Review, 14(7), 923-946, doi:10.1080/14719037.2011.650056, Institutional Repository
Lieberherr, E. (2011) Regionalization and water governance: a case study of a Swiss wastewater utility, In: Balsiger, J.; Debarbieux, B. (Eds.), Regional environmental governance: interdisciplinary perspectives, theoretical issues, comparative designs (REGov), 73-89, doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.03.026, Institutional Repository
Lieberherr, E. (2011) Acceptability of the Deschutes Groundwater Mitigation Program, Ecology Law Currents, 38(25), 26-35, Institutional Repository