Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Despite incredible progress in recent years, billions of people around the world still lack access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hand-washing facilities. Recent studies suggest that in order to meet the U.N.’s goals of providing universal access to basic sanitation services by 2030, the rate of progress would need to double it’s current rate.  Significant improvements in the use and management of water are also needed to address the growing demand in areas where the population is rapidly increasing, as well as to protect against the increasing frequency and severity of droughts and floods due to climate change.  Here are some statistics from the U.N. regarding the current state of Goal 6 around the globe.

  • As of 2017
    • 71% of the world’s population had access to safely managed drinking water services (up from 61% in 2000). An additional 19% had access to basic drinking water services, leaving 10% or roughly 785 million people without access to any drinking water services
    • 45% of the world’s population had access to safely managed sanitation services (up from 28% in 2015)
    • 60% of the world’s population, and only 38% of the population in Least Developed Countries (LDCs), had a basic hand-washing facility with soap and water at home, leaving nearly 3 billion people without basic hand-washing facilities at home
  • In 2016, one third of all primary schools lacked basic drinking water, sanitation and hygiene services, affecting the education of millions of schoolchildren. One in four health-care facilities lacked basic water services, affecting nearly 2 billion people
  • Roughly one third of countries have reported high or medium levels of water stress and nearly all of them are located in North Africa, and Central, South, and West Asia. 2 billion people live in countries that have reported high levels of water stress
  • Water scarcity affects roughly 40% of the world’s population
  • By 2030, 700 million people could be displaced due to severe water scarcity
  • Each day, roughly 1,000 children die to preventable water and sanitation-related diarrheal diseases
  • 9% of the world’s population still practice open defecation, the majority of which are in southern Asia
  • For more statistics related to Gender Equality, please see the Goal 6 Progress site here

Goal 6 Targets:

  • 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

This Month’s Challenge:

In July 2020, we are sharing more global and country-specific datasets thanks to our friends at the Centre for Humanitarian Data.  Links to a number of datasets from the Humanitarian Data Exchange related to Clean Water and Sanitation can be found on our data.world site here.  And as always, we are sharing Goal related data from the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goal Database, with regional data on all of the targets listed above.

If you would like participate, you can use data from any source, but the overall goal is to focus your analysis on some of the water and sanitation related topics mentioned in the Targets section above.  If you come across other interesting datasets, please let us know so we can add them to our page on data.world.  The deadline for submission will be August 4, 2020. Make sure to tag us in your submission, add the #TheSDGVizProject hashtag, and add your submission to #TheSDGVizProject tracker.

As we mentioned on our Home page, building a viz is not the only way to participate.  Our main goal is to spread awareness, so if you see a viz with #TheSDGVizProject, please share it.  And keep an eye out for a post at the end of the month with ways that you can contribute to this month’s goal.


Centre for Humanitarian Data

Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX)

Global SDG Indicators Database

Progress of Goal 6 in 2019

Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

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