Clean Water and Sanitation

Water scarcity affects more than 40 percent of people around the world, an alarming figure that is projected to increase with the rise of global temperatures as a result of climate change. Although 2.1 billion people have gained access to improved water sanitation since 1990, dwindling supplies of safe drinking water is a major problem impacting every continent.

In 2011, 41 countries experienced water stress – 10 of which are close to depleting their supply of renewable freshwater and must now rely on alternative sources. Increasing drought and desertification is already worsening these trends. By 2050, it is projected that at least one in four people will be affected by recurring water shortages.

Ensuring universal access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030 requires we invest in adequate infrastructure, provide sanitation facilities, and encourage hygiene at every level. Protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems such as forests, mountains, wetlands and rivers is essential if we are to mitigate water scarcity. More international cooperation is also needed to encourage water efficiency and support treatment technologies in developing countries.

Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Goals and targets (from the 2030 Agenda) Indicators
6.1 By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all 6.1.1 Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services
6.2 By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations 6.2.1 Proportion of population using safely managed sanitation services, including a hand-washing facility with soap and water
6.3 By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally

6.3.1 Proportion of wastewater safely treated

6.3.2 Proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality

6.4 By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity

6.4.1 Change in water-use efficiency over time

6.4.2 Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal as a proportion of available freshwater resources

6.5 By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate

6.5.1 Degree of integrated water resources management implementation (0-100)

6.5.2 Proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for water cooperation

6.6 By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes 6.6.1 Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time
6.a By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies 6.a.1 Amount of water- and sanitation-related official development assistance that is part of a government-coordinated spending plan
6.b Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management 6.b.1 Proportion of local administrative units with established and operational policies and procedures for participation of local communities in water and sanitation management