In adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Member States highlighted the vital importance of water and sanitation. They incorporated a standalone sustainable development goal on water – SDG 6: “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” – as part of the foundation of sustainable development. Indeed, achieving SDG 6 is essential to achieving the overall 2030 Agenda. It is universally recognized that water is life and is essential to poverty eradication, gender equality, food security, sustainable agriculture, health, sanitation, sustainable industry, sustainable consumption and production, tourism, and sustainable urbanization, among others. In order to achieve SDG 6 and its targets, an integrated approach will be required, addressing inter-linkages between water SDG and other SDGs.
In recognition of the foundation role of water, Member States further adopted 6 targets and related means of implementation:
- 6.1 By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe 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, girls and those in vulnerable situations
- 6.3 By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping, 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, 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 resource 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
The Symposium offers a platform for government officials, water policy experts, businesses, and civil society representatives to discuss how to implement SDG 6 and its related targets, including an international decade of water for sustainable development, currently under consultation initiated by Tajikistan.