UN Global Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Solutions Journalism Network

Water management is one of the most challenging Goals on the 2030 Agenda. As the UN Economic and Security Council reports, “achieving universal access to even basic sanitation service by 2030 would require a doubling in the current annual rate of progress.”

Water scarcity afflicts many of the world's poorest countries and the situation is expected to worsen due to environmental and population-related causes. Steps to improving infrastructure and water management are critical to achieving water available to all. The specific targets for the coming decade include:

  • Achieving universal access to clean drinking water and sanitation, in particular, ending practices of open defecation and illegal dumping of industrial waste into water supplies.
  • Protecting and improving environmental water quality, including freshwater ecosystems, rivers, lakes, and also our oceans. 
  • Increasing water-use efficiency, recycling, and management, especially in the use of wastewater in industrial settings.
  • Supporting cooperation on water management issues on both the international and community levels, focusing in particular on working across borders.
  • Increasing capacity, especially in the management of and investment in public works projects to improve infrastructure and development. 

The stories below highlight a few of the many solutions to providing clean water and sanitation to all. We learn about how Moroccans are leveraging technology and partnerships with NGOs to address water shortages. With the help of Dar Si Hmad, local villagers are collecting up to 5,000 gallons of water a day by harvesting fog. Technological solutions also helped rural communities in Uganda that suffered from a lack of sanitary water. In Cape Town, collective action in dramatically reducing water use helped the city avoid a “day zero” when it was going to shut off the water to residents.

Explore this collection to learn more, ranging from environmental and social justice campaigns to combat the effects of inadequate sanitation, to companies using natural processes and bio-mimicry to recreate wetlands.

Click here for more stories in the Solutions Story Tracker on clean water and sanitation.

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