Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all


Goal six is considered the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) goal, addressing water resources management and service is essential for sustainable development. This goal is based upon extensive science linking water supply and sanitation management to improved health, wellbeing and economic productivity. However, this goal should be viewed as an ambitious aspiration that will be very challenging to achieve given that it may require major changes in water management among many nations to harmonize governance, data collection and sharing policies, and the use of models and tools.


To do so would require a full commitment from every nation, state and county and all the stakeholders within them, as well as changes in infrastructure and policies that would have large financial and political costs. Data, science, and applications of good management and governance principles will also be needed to achieve this goal. Research and technology will be needed to better understand and manage the impacts of local decisions on the basin sale, and at the same time there is a need to downscale global model projections to the local level for improved planning. Remote sensing and in-situ observations along with models are needed to support the ongoing goal monitoring.


Few countries keep reliable records of wastewater production, treatment and reuse. Other research needs include linking physical processes to socio-economic and health data, and assessments of water control infrastructure and use patterns’ impact on local water budgets. Refining Targets In general, the targets are supported by science and address the critical issues introducted by the goal.