Access to clean water and sanitation is pivotal for achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly those related to good health and gender equality. Yet 2.4 billion people still do not have access to toilets, 1.8 billion must drink faecally contaminated water, and water scarcity affects more than 40 per cent of the global population. Achieving SDG 6 requires urgent solutions that promote equal water access and use, and ensure sustainable freshwater management to support healthy populations.
UNU approaches water as a core component of sustainable development, one that inherently links livelihoods, ecosystems, populations, and infrastructure. To accelerate action on water, our SDG Policy Support System enables governments to make use of existing and emerging national and international data to automatically build evidence that is fit for policymaking and planning. Our research on water, sanitation, and hygiene, and on wastewater management and reuse, bridges science, policy, and practice to pair innovative technologies with communities in need.
“Water is a necessary element to achieve social, environmental and economic interests across the globe. My research at UNU aims to support the sustainable management of water to ensure healthy communities and ecosystems.”
“To attain the SDGs, there’s not only a need for public investment, but also the participation of systemic stakeholders. My work at UNU deals with incentive designs to nudge cooperation between diverse actor groups. Sustainable development is not purely about outcomes, but also about values of democracy, respect, and integrity.”
Improving global re-use and recycling of wastewater is vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. This project aims to develop a monitoring methodology to measure global progress towards this goal.
Water is inextricably linked to the development of all nations, but unsustainable development is placing pressure on our limited water resources. This project aims to support governments in achieving SDG 6: clean water and sanitation for all.
A big challenge in achieving the SDGs is designing road maps for their attainment. Because these global goals are shaped by interactions between stakeholders in complex systems, their realisation is extremely complicated. To better understand how these road maps could be designed, this project develops conceptual frameworks and approaches to achieve the SDGs.