Clean Water and Sanitation
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
More than 40% of people do not have enough clean water available, and half of the world’s population is already experiencing severe water scarcity at least once a month in many regions of the world. Water quality is poor in many regions; pathogens contaminate the drinking water of an estimated 1.8 billion people. A third of the world's population can only use buckets, unhygienic latrines or the outdoors instead of proper sanitation. Moreover, about three-quarters of the untreated wastewater produced reaches rivers or the sea. All this has serious consequences; water scarcity represents a threat to agriculture, where sufficient water is needed to grow food. Lack of proper sanitation leads to too many diseases that are often life threatening especially for children.
All people must be able to use clean drinking water and hygienic toilets or latrines. Water management needs to be improved in many countries, which means using reliable, equitable and affordable supply of clean drinking water. In addition, wastewater must always be collected and treated. In order to ensure that all people have accsess to clean water in the long term, water as a resource must be used sustainably. This means protecting and restoring ecosystems such as forests, wetlands and rivers that are important for the water balance.