Access to drinking water and sanitation is a human right and, together with water resources, a key determinant in all aspects of social, economic and environmental development. The MDGs incorporated targets on drinking water and sanitation but did not address other aspects crucial to sustainable development, such as water resources management, waste-water management, water quality and enhancing resilience to water-related disasters.
Besides access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, Goal 6 thus comprises additional targets such as protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems (including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers and lakes). Goal 6 aims to improve water quality and reduce water pollution, especially the type caused by hazardous chemicals. It also advocates cross-border cooperation as the key to managing water resources in an integrated fashion at all levels.
Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
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