SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation
Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
Clean water and sanitation are vital to our health, communities, and economy, yet billions of people today have little or no access to these necessities. Over the past century, global water demand rose twice as fast as population growth. In addition to water stress, countries and regions suffer from water pollution, degraded water ecosystems, water scarcity caused by climate change, and conflicts related to transboundary waters. At the current trend, the world is not on track to achieving SDG #6. Nations must join forces to develop a sustainable water management strategy that can accelerate progress towards that goal.
Today, 2 billion people are deprived of safe drinking water, 3.6 billion acceptable sanitation, and 2.3 billion basic hygiene services in 2020. A third of the world's population also lacks basic handwashing facilities with soap and water at home, leaving them vulnerable, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the 42 countries and territories reporting on total wastewater generation and treatment in 2015, only 32% of wastewater flows were subject to some form of treatment. An assessment of rivers, lakes, and aquifers of 89 countries and territories in 2020 indicates that the water quality of 30% of the water bodies assessed is bad. Therefore, efforts to clean these water bodies from pollution must be initiated.