Water & Sanitation

While substantial progress has been made in increasing access to clean drinking water and sanitation, billions of people—mostly in rural areas—still lack access these basic services, which were recognized as a human right by the United Nations General Assembly in 2010. Worldwide, one in three people do not have access to safe drinking water, two out of five people do not have a basic hand-washing facility with soap and water, and more than 673 million people still practice open defecation. Unsafe hygiene practices are widespread, compounding the effects on people’s health. The impact on child mortality rates is devastating, with more than 297,000 children under five who die annually from diarrheal diseases due to poor sanitation, poor hygiene, or unsafe drinking water.

By managing our water sustainably, we are also able to better manage food production and energy, and contribute to decent work and economic growth. Moreover, we can preserve our water ecosystems, their biodiversity, and take action on climate change. Water and sanitation are essential to the future of sustainable development.

Events and Articles

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4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit

The Water Action Decade 2018-2028 is now at its mid-point, and the Asia-Pacific region is gearing up to review progress and chart a roadmap for the next five years of the Decade.
Event 23 April 2022 - 24 April 2022

36th UN-Water Meeting

During the two-day meeting, participants discussed the Sustainable Development Goal 6 Global Acceleration Framework, linkages between climate and water, planning for the UN 2023 Water Conference, and planning for the SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2023, among other agenda items.
Event 7 April 2022 - 8 April 2022

Planet Budapest 2021 Sustainability Expo and Summit

The event aimed to answer what role the four Visegrád countries—the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia—can play on climate change, water security, sustainable transport, and the circular economy.
Event 30 November 2021 - 2 December 2021

34th UN-Water Meeting

UN-Water Members, Partners, and observers considered how to accelerate progress toward water and sanitation for all by 2030 when ambitions appear off-track.
Event 15 March 2021 - 17 March 2021