International Partnerships

Clean water and sanitation

The 6th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG6) aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.

According to the UN, in the world today, 3.6 billion people live in areas where water can be scarce at least one month per year and this number could increase to 5 billion by 2050. UN-Water estimates that 2.1 billion people (3in 10 people) don’t have access to safe drinking water, while 4.5 billion people (6 in 10 people) lack safe sanitation services, such as toilets and latrines. This situation is expected to worsen as an effect of population growth, increased urbanisation and industrial production, agricultural intensification, energy demands on water, and climate change. Managing water sustainably and ensuring access to fresh water, in sufficient quantity and quality, are thus prerequisites to achieve many dimensions of sustainable development.

Our commitment to achieve SDG6 is stated in the European Consensus on Development, in which we reaffirm the importance of universal and equitable access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene, as well as our commitment to strengthen the sustainable and integrated management of water resources.

Water-related problems, if not addressed, could affect us all. We therefore encourage global cooperation on these issues.

We support initiatives to improve:

  • access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services
  • sustainable and integrated management of water resources
  • interlinkages between water, energy, food, and ecosystems
  • water governance and cooperation among countries for transboundary water management

Our impact