Water is life. Progress in nutrition, health, education, work, equality, environmental protection and international cooperation are all related to the availability and sustainable management of water and universal access to effective systems for disposing of our waste.
These are the objectives of Sustainable Development Goal 6. If we remain off track to deliver on SDG 6 then we jeopardize the entire 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Yet, today, billions of people still lack access to safe water and sanitation, resulting in needless deaths, chronic disease, missed education and reduced productivity.
At the same time, demand for water - from agriculture and industry as well as domestic use - is rapidly rising and water pollution and ecosystem degradation are being made worse by increasing amounts of untreated wastewater. And all of this is happening against a backdrop of climate change, which is playing havoc with the predictability of our most precious resource.
What this report makes clear is that we must tackle weak funding, planning, capacity and governance of water and sanitation services as a top priority. New partnerships are needed, involving stakeholders within and beyond the water and sanitation sectors, to address these fundamental issues, balance competing needs, and act to get SDG 6 back on track. Data and smart technologies must be embraced so interventions can be as effective as possible and progress tracked over time.