SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation

The sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) aims to "Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all" by 2030. This goal addresses critical issues such as access to safe and affordable drinking water, adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene, water quality, and water-use efficiency. 

Ensuring Access to Clean Water and Sanitation for everyone

Water and sanitation are fundamental to human health and well-being. However, billions of people still lack access to these essential services. The goal targets universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water, which is vital for preventing diseases and improving quality of life. The goal also emphasizes adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, focusing particularly on the needs of women and girls who are disproportionately affected by inadequate facilities.    

Sustainable Water Management and Ecosystem Protection

Improving water quality is another crucial aspect of it. It involves reducing pollution, eliminating dumping, and minimizing the release of hazardous chemicals and materials. By 2030, the goal is to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increase recycling and safe reuse globally. Ensuring sustainable water management also requires improving water-use efficiency across all sectors, promoting sustainable water withdrawal and supply, and implementing integrated water resources management at all levels. 

The goal also recognizes the importance of protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems, including rivers, wetlands, and lakes. These ecosystems are essential for maintaining biodiversity and providing services that support human livelihoods and well-being. International cooperation and capacity-building are crucial for achieving SDG 6, particularly for developing countries where the challenges are most significant. 

The interconnectedness of SDG 6 with other goals is significant. Access to clean water and sanitation underpins efforts to eradicate poverty (SDG 1), improve health (SDG 3), achieve gender equality (SDG 5), and ensure sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11).  

In summary, SDG 6 is vital for sustainable development, aiming to ensure that everyone, everywhere, has access to safe water and sanitation, thereby promoting health, equality, and economic growth. 

WSA Winners for SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation