Sustainable development goal 6: Targets, Facts and figures

Sustainable development goal 6: Targets, Facts and figures

Introduction to the problem

Goal 6 of sustainable development goals ensure access to water and sanitation for all. Providing equitable access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) is a global public health strategy advocated for human development especially for regions which are geographically isolated and far from development. Globally, there are 2.4 billion people who live without adequate sanitation, 758 million do not have access to improved water sources and 673 million still defecate in the open. In India, according to WaterAid Report 2018, 163 million people lack access to clean water close to their home and only 31% of the total population use improved sanitation facilities. Inadequate sanitation, hygiene or access to water increases the incidence of diarrheal disease which results in the death of at least 1.9 million children under five annually. A major proportion of these deaths, that is, an estimated 801,000 children, are from developing countries (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Diarrhea is the third leading cause of childhood mortality in India. In 2012, total deaths due to diarrhea in children under five years of age were 1.5 million. In developing countries, high prevalence of diarrhea is associated with poor WaSH practices. Lack of toilets further exacerbates the problem as faeces on the ground contribute to contaminated drinking water and water resources in general.


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, having the proportion of untreated wastewater and sustainability 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, project 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 programs, including water-and sanitation-related activities and programs, 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.

Facts and Figures

  • One in four health care facilities lacks basic water services
  • Three in ten people lack access to safely managed drinking water services and 6 on 10 people lack access to safely managed sanitation facilities.
  • At least 892 million people continue to practice open defecation.
  • Women and girls are responsible for water collection in 80 percent of households without access to water on premises
  • Between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of the global population using an improved drinking water source has increased from 76 per cent to 90 per cent
  • Water scarcity affects more than 40 per cent of the global population and is projected to rise. Over 1.7 billion people are currently living in river basins where water use exceeds recharge.
  • 2.4 billion lack access to basic sanitation services, such as toilets or latrines
  • More than 80 percent of wastewater resulting from human activities is discharged into rivers or sea without any pollution removal
  • Each day, nearly 1,000 children die due to preventable water and sanitation-related diarrheal diseases
  • Approximately, 70 percent of all water abstracted from rivers, lakes and aquifers is used for irrigation
  • Floods and other water-related disasters account for 70 per cent of all deaths related to natural disasters