Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals and water

Acknowledgement of the pivotal role of freshwater in sustainable development was central to the creation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all,” which is part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that UN Member States adopted in September 2015.

SDG 6 addresses the sustainability of water and sanitation access by looking at its availability and management. The targets of SDG 6 take the entire water cycle and its interconnections into account.

UN Environment, as a global organization, has a mandate to help countries develop, implement and report on a number of the “environmental” freshwater indicators in SDG 6. Beyond that, as many of the other SDGs relate closely to freshwater, UN Environment provides input to freshwater aspects as they relate to other areas of sustainable development, such as food and energy production.

What we do

UN Environment is responsible for gathering data from Members States to support reporting against three of SDG 6 indicators: 6.3.2 on ambient water quality, 6.5.1 on integrated water resources management (IWRM), and 6.6.1 on water-related ecosystems.

To help Member States report on SDG 6 progress at the 2018 High Level Political Forum, UN Environment is collecting data on these three indicators to contribute to a synthesis report on SDG 6. This data drive to establish a 2017 baseline began in May 2017 and is being carried out as part of the integrated monitoring initiative under UN-Water