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SDG 6 - Clean water and sanitation

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

SDG6 is about access to, and quality of, water and sanitation, and also the sustainability aspects of how we use water and manage water quality.

While access is mainly an issue for developing countries, the sustainability aspects are key for all.

The main challenge for access remains in the poorer developing countries, particularly in rural areas. Within the first target that aims for universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water to all, significant gaps remain. Sanitation is less developed than drinking water, and the same geographical pattern is seen as for safe water scarcity. The situation is likely to improve, but not disappear, over the next 15 years. Water sustainability is an issue in large parts of the world, correlated with precipitation patterns, but not well associated with normal developing-developed country status.


ROW gets a red rating, with significant challenges in both water and sanitation. BRISE and China both get yellow ratings, but with China on the borderline to achieving a green rating. USA and OECD score green.

Understanding the score

Five regions: USA, OECD (excl. USA), China, BRISE (Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa and 10 other emerging economies), ROW (rest of the world).
Green light: Goal likely to be reached.
Orange light: Goal not likely to be reached, but more than 50% of the gap between today's status and the goal is likely to be closed.
Red light: Goal not likely to be reached, and less than 50% of the gap between today's status and the goal is likely to be closed.

Grundfos: Water everywhere, intelligently

Access to clean water and sanitation for all in 2030 is a joint, global target that takes focused efforts from public, private, and the civil spheres in collaboration.

Water affects 15 of the 17 SDGs. It is figuratively everywhere in the sustainability conversation, but physically it remains tragically unevenly distributed. Access to clean water is a daily struggle, if not crisis, for many millions, without accounting for the difficulties that global warming can and will bring. Each year, millions of people, most of them children, perish from largely preventable diseases caused by a lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation.

"The need for water and sanitation on a global scale is evident - and the lack of equal access to both is one of the world’s greatest risks in the future," says Mads Nipper, President and CEO of Grundfos.

To secure sustainability, he stresses the importance of looking at the entire water cycle, from source to end, and not only treating both potable and waste water, but ensuring that the distribution network is efficient to reduce wastage of this scarce resource. "Technology is crucial. We need to supply intelligent solutions to integrated water resource management." This includes protecting the water sources, using less energy during extraction and fewer chemicals in treatment, and reducing water loss through the distribution cycle.

For the complete forecast on SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation and the full Grundfos story, download the report.

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