Objective 6: clean water and sanitation
Access to water which is fit for consumption and sanitation, as well as the rational management of freshwater ecosystems, are essential for human health, sustainability of the environment and economic prosperity.
Although the situation has improved over the past few years, many millions of people –mostly in rural areas- still lack improved drinking water sources or improved sanitation, and over 2,000 million live in very water-stressed countries, which points to a strong likelihood of future shortages.
While in many Western countries (bottom photo) it is normal to turn on a tap and get quality, treated water, in others (top photo) getting water –usually untreated- is not easy, nor is conserving it appropriately. Therefore, it is an ethical imperative for the former to use water rationally and carefully, avoiding any waste.
Among the goals of Objective 6 (Guaranteeing the availability of water for everyone and its sustainable management and sanitation) for 2030 are achieving universal and equal access to drinking water and sanitation systems and putting and end to defecation outdoors, improving the quality of water by reducing pollution, eliminating effluent discharges and minimising the emission of chemicals and dangerous products, thus reducing untreated residual waters by 50% while increasing risk-free recycling and re-use.