Water scarcity affects more than 40 percent of people around the world, an alarming figure that is projected to increase with the rise of global temperatures as a result of climate change. Although 2.1 billion people have gained access to improved water sanitation since 1990, dwindling supplies of safe drinking water is a major problem impacting every continent.
Since 2000, UNDP, together with our UN partners and the rest of the global community, has made gender equality central to our work. We have seen remarkable progress since then. More girls are now in school compared to 15 years ago, and most regions have reached gender parity in primary education. Women now make up to 41 percent of paid workers outside of agriculture, compared to 35 percent in 1990.
In 2011, 41 countries experienced water stress – 10 of which are close to depleting their supply of renewable freshwater and must now rely on alternative sources. Increasing drought and desertification is already worsening these trends. By 2050, it is projected that at least one in four people will be affected by recurring water shortages.
Ensuring universal access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030 requires we invest in adequate infrastructure, provide sanitation facilities, and encourage hygiene at every level. Protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems such as forests, mountains, wetlands and rivers is essential if we are to mitigate water scarcity. More international cooperation is also needed to encourage water efficiency and support treatment technologies in developing countries.
Everyone can help to make sure that we meet the Global Goals. Use these eight targets to ensure clean water and sanitation for all.
SAFE AND AFFORDABLE DRINKING WATER
By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.
END OPEN DEFECATION AND PROVIDE ACCESS TO SANITATION AND HYGIENE
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.
IMPROVE WATER QUALITY, WASTEWATER TREATMENT AND SAFE REUSE
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.
INCREASE WATER-USE EFFICIENCY AND ENSURE FRESHWATER SUPPLIES
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.
IMPLEMENT INTEGRATED WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT
By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate.
PROTECT AND RESTORE WATER-RELATED ECOSYSTEMS
By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes.
EXPAND WATER AND SANITATION SUPPORT TO DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
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.
SUPPORT LOCAL ENGAGEMENT IN WATER AND SANITATION MANAGEMENT
Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management.