SDG UPDATE: BILLIONS WILL STILL LACK WATER AND SANITATION ACCESS BY 2030The latest report from the UN on the Sustainable Development Goals makes...

SDG UPDATE: BILLIONS WILL STILL LACK WATER AND SANITATION ACCESS BY 2030The latest report from the UN on the Sustainable Development Goals makes...SDG UPDATE: BILLIONS WILL STILL LACK WATER AND SANITATION ACCESS BY 2030
The latest report from the UN on the Sustainable Development Goals makes for uncomfortable reading on water progress. Aquatech Online takes a look.

A water reality check
Unless progress picks up, billions of people will continue to lack access to safely managed drinking water, sanitation and hygiene services by 2030.

That’s according to a 2022 update report on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the United Nations (UN), which made for bleak reading, especially on water.

The original SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) states that for 2030, we will “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”.

However, unless the pace of progress is quadrupled, the targets will not be met. The UN stated that at current rates, by 2030:

- 1.6 billion people will lack safely managed drinking water
- 2.8 billion people will lack safely managed sanitation
- 1.9 billion people will lack basic hygiene facilities.
The report results may not shock many – with the writing on the wall even on World Water Day 2019, where the UNESCO director-general warned that at the current rate of progress, “billions of people will remain unable to enjoy access to water and sanitation”.

“To recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and deliver global sustainability, we need an urgent rescue effort for the SDGs,” said António Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations.

“We must deliver on our commitments to support the world’s most vulnerable people, communities and nations.”

Drinking water and sanitation access progress
According to the report, the world will reach 81 per cent coverage by 2030, missing the target and leaving 1.6 billion people without safely managed drinking water supplies. This has increased from 70 per cent in 2015 to 74 per cent in 2020.

It’s estimated that eight of the 10 people who lack even “basic drinking water service” live in rural areas.
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