Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Across the world, 633 million people have limited access to clean drinking water and 3 billion people lack basic hand washing facilities (soap and water) at home. Millions of people die every year due to a lack of clean water or basic hygiene; and water scarcity impacts 40 per cent of the global population. Access to basic sanitation and hygiene is critical during a global pandemic to dramatically slow the spread of disease and reduce the risk of death.

Goal 6 aims to ensure access to clean water and sanitation. Achieving this will mean that we drastically reduce death and disease and minimise the negative environmental and health impacts of floods and other water-based disasters. Improving access to clean water and sanitation will enable increased food production and security and improve the health conditions of many communities.

The UN states that there is sufficient freshwater to meet global demand but that poor planning, infrastructure and economies have resulted in drastic outcomes for a large proportion of the world's population. Goal 6 aims to provide universal access to safe, clean drinking water, universal access to basic sanitation, especially for girls and women, and reduce pollution and the dumping of hazardous waste and toxins in waterways.

To achieve this Goal we will need to increase the rate of water recycling and safe reuse, engage communities to participate in water and sanitation management and improve water and sanitation infrastructure.

Australia's Progress towards Goal 6

The Transforming Australia: SDG Progress Report provides key information about how Australia is progressing towards achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Visit the Transforming Australia website to see Australia's progress towards Goal 6.

The SDG6 Working Group for Australia which includes MSDI's Professor Rob Skinner and Dr Paul Satur is exploring different processes of data collection, aggregation and analysis to ensure we can tell a more compelling story about how Australia is progressing towards the 2030 targets that the SDGs have set.

Do you want to know how to achieve the SDGs?

MSDI has partnered with McMaster University to create the world's most comprehensive repository of research evidence. Click here for the latest evidence and research from around the world aligned with Goal 6.

How is Monash is helping provide clean water and sanitation?

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