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SDG Newsletter - Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Updated: Apr 29, 2023

November 21, 2022

Register for our first discussion!

Our first discussion will take place on December 3rd, at 6:00 PM PST (December 4th, 10:00 AM Beijing Time)! Register below to engage with students around the world about the 5 SDGs related to the planet, including:

Our speaker for this session will be Darcy Paul, the current mayor of Cupertino, California. He will be sharing with us about how sustainability looks in local or state policy!


Goal 6 | Department of Economic and Social Affairs SDG 6 focuses on “ensur[ing] availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for [humanity]”. The quality and quantity of clean, sanitized, fresh water has been declining in various countries and regions among all continents. We have lost over 85% of the planet’s wetlands. The ecosystems related to water and the people who need water the most have also been under the most stress. Since humans cannot live without water, the idea that over 733 million people around the globe live in countries with high and critical levels of water stress is alarming. The UN predicts that at current levels of consumption, in 2030 “1.6 billion people will lack safely managed drinking water; 2.8 billion people will lack safely managed sanitation; 1.9 billion people will lack basic hand hygiene facilities”. If we want to meet the SDG targets regarding drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene, we need to act 4 times more efficiently and effectively.

Billions of people will lack access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene in 2030 unless progress quadruples – warn WHO, UNICEF Even in the 21st century, only 25% of the world population is able to access clean drinking water while a shocking 50% lack access to sanitation systems. Through the pandemic, 30% of people worldwide could not wash their hands, increasing vulnerability towards the pandemic and weakening immune systems. There has been significant progress from 2016 to 2020 as an additional 4% of people were able to access clean drinking water and an increase on onsite sanitation: But is this really enough? If the current trend remains constant, an average of 2.1 individuals will be left without water and sanitation. In order for developing countries to receive the same resources privileged countries have, progress must accelerate by a factor of 23 times. WASH coverage must be prioritized by agencies, governments, and society as a whole.

Drinking-water | World Health Organization With climate change and population growth, it is expected that water shortages in some areas will increase. At present, the chemical risks and microbial pollution of drinking water have aroused public concern. In 2020, only 74% of the world's population had access to safely managed drinking water. Improving sanitation of water supplies and better management of water resources can have a significant impact on economic growth and poverty reduction in countries. Polluted water and poor sanitation are related to the spread of diseases such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid fever and polio, or other preventable health risks. As a result, in 2010, the General Assembly of the United Nations clearly recognized the human rights of drinking water and sanitation, and paid more attention to safety in this regard. It is a huge challenge to double the historical progress to achieve basic drinking water services and universal access by 2030, but the World Health Organization leads the global efforts to prevent water related diseases, providing advice to governments on the formulation of health based goals and classifications, so as to promote the early realization of sustainable development goals.


Further Reading


Want to learn more? Join us for a discussion to collaborate with students across the world, engage in new perspectives on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and connect with UNA-USA officials and members throughout the country.

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