The United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development comprises a set of 17 goals and 169 targets. Following on from the Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are devised as an integrated whole that will leave no one (and no place) behind in the pursuit of sustainable development for people and the planet.
SDG 6 calls for available and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. However the integrated and indivisible nature of the SDGs means the way we deal with issues of water security will affect and be affected by our ability to achieve other SDGs.
SDG 6 interactions
The SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018 on Water and Sanitation highlighted the following interactions with other SDGs:
- Water-related diseases are closely linked to poverty, and disproportionately affect vulnerable communities that do not have access even to basic sanitation services (SDG1)
- 70% of water abstractions are for food security (SDG2)
- Access to sanitation reduces environmental pollution (including water-borne pathogens) and its health impacts (SDG3)
- Improving access to WASH in schools can enhance pupil and teacher health, school attendance and welfare, which benefits educational outcomes for all (SDG4)
- In 61 countries, women and girls are responsible for water collection in 80% of households (SDG5)
- Pollutants affecting water quality occur as a result of agriculture (SDG2), industry (SDGs 9 and 12), energy production and extractive processes (SDG7)
- 1.4 billion jobs really on water (SDG8)
- 81% of companies rely on freshwater for their operations (SDG9)
- Cities and towns present a special and major water challenge, as they are expected to be home for some 66 per cent of the world’s population by 2050 - cities do not function in isolation; they exist within river basins and what happens in cities affects others downstream and vice versa (SDG 11)
- Water-related ecosystems are increasingly under threat, as the demand grows for fresh water for agriculture, energy and human settlements (SDG 14)