Clean water and basic sanitation are critical for maintaining human health and preventing the spread of pathogens/diseases. Access to clean drinking water is not universal. More than 2 billion people are without clean drinking water as of 2020. Adding to this issue are growing population challenges, water pollution, declining water-based ecosystems, climate change-related effects on water, and a lack of cooperation regarding transboundary waters. Unfortunately, the scope of this crisis is far bigger than just the lack of clean drinking water. Aid is needed in the form of sanitation supplies, water availability for agricultural resources, flood protection, and hydroelectric power.

Despite the progress on this issue in recent years, the goal of accessible clean drinking water worldwide is far from met. A global structure is needed to ensure water resources are being implemented and managed. This is important not only for maintaining the water resources we have, but also providing countries with revenue through sustainable agriculture.

We can't live without water. Yet so many people in the world find themselves without proper access to it. Accomplishing this goal will take worldwide cooperation and effort, but we can do it.

Targets & Indicators

When the UN General Assembly introduced the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, they listed the targets that needed to meet for each goal. These targets break down what needs to be achieved to consider the goal completed. The UN Statistical Commission created the IAEG (International Agency and Expert Group) in 2017, which was tasked with creating the “indicators” for each target. These indicators were created to put measures in place to track the process being made on each target.

Targets and indicators were developed by the UN as a working blueprint for nations, organizations, and people to use when implementing SDGs in their everyday actions. Looking to the targets for the respected goal is the best way to execute the use of them in your work.


By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.
  1. 6.1.1 Proportion of Population Using Safely Managed Drinking Water Services


By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all. End open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls as well as those in vulnerable situations.
  1. 6.2.1 Proportion of Population Using Safely Managed Sanitation Services, Including a Hand-Washing Facility With Soap and Water


By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping, and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, reducing the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.
  1. 6.3.1 Proportion of Domestic and Industrial Wastewater Flows Safely Treated
  2. 6.3.2 Proportion of Bodies of Water with Good Ambient Water Quality


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.
  1. 6.4.1 Change in Water-Use Efficiency Over Time
  2. 6.4.2 Level of Water Stress: Freshwater Withdrawal as a Proportion of Available Freshwater Resources


By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate.
  1. 6.5.1 Degree of Integrated Water Resources Management Implementation (on a Scale from 0-100)
  2. 6.5.2 Proportion of Transboundary Basin Area with an Operational Arrangement for Water Cooperation


By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers, and lakes.
  1. 6.6.1 Change in the Extent of Water-Related Ecosystems Over Time


By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programs, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling, and reuse technologies.
  1. 6.a.1 Amount of Water- and Sanitation-Related Official Development Assistance That Is Part of a Government-Coordinated Spending Plan


Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management.
  1. 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

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