While substantial progress has been made in increasing access to clean drinking water and sanitation, billions of people—mostly in rural areas—still lack these basic services. Worldwide, one in three people do not have access to safe drinking watertwo out of five people do not have a basic hand-washing facility with soap and water, and more than 673 million people still practice open defecation.

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the critical importance of sanitation, hygiene and adequate access to clean water for preventing and containing diseases. Hand hygiene saves lives. According to the World Health Organization, handwashing is one of the most effective actions you can take to reduce the spread of pathogens and prevent infections, including the COVID-19 virus. Yet billions of people still lack safe water sanitation, and funding is inadequate.

TARGETS 

6.1 By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all

6.2 By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations 

6.3 By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally

6.4 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

6.5 By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate 

6.6 By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes 

6.A By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies

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

INDICATORS

6.1.1 Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services

6.2.1 Proportion of population using safely managed sanitation services, including a hand-washing facility with soap and water

6.3.1 Proportion of wastewater safely treated
6.3.2 Proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality

6.4.1 Change in water-use efficiency over time 
6.4.2 Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal as a proportion of available freshwater resources

6.5.1 Degree of integrated water resources management implementation (0-100)
6.5.2 Proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for water cooperation

6.6.1 Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time

6.A.1 Amount of water- and sanitation-related official development assistance that is part of a government-coordinated spending plan

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