This project is being undertaken in collaboration with UNHABITAT, Custodian agency for SDG Target 6.3. The project aims to develop, pilot-test and validate a monitoring methodology for Target 6.3. The approach adopted towards developing the Wastewater Reuse Effectiveness Index (WREI) as a monitoring tool for SDG Target 6.3 was endorsed by 11 countries who participated at a workshop organized by UNHABITAT, UNU-FLORES and ACWUA at the 2017 Arab Water Week. The multi-year effort was supported by two regional consultation workshops that were organized to facilitate the process. Partners who support the initiative include the Ministry of Construction, Government of Vietnam, Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA), Jordan, University of Minho, Portugal, Livelihoods and Natural Resources Management Institute, India Institute of Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan and University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 6.3 articulates the challenge of wastewater management in the following fashion: By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardouschemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and at least doubling recycling and safe reuse globally.
The United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 6.3 explicitly encourages the use of wastewater. For the effective monitoring of such global goals, political buy-in by Member States is crucial. Moreover, data gathering for monitoring purposes must incorporate both biophysical, as well as institutional and socioeconomic dimensions of wastewater use. UN-Habitat, as the co-custodian of Target 6.3, has received requests from several UN Member States to provide guidance on recycling and reuse strategies for wastewater. The SDGs emphasise the need for robust data and bottom-up approaches to monitoring that recognises interconnections between a range of sectors and environmental resources. This is aligned with the Nexus Approach, which encourages the reuse of environmental resources, considering the interconnections between water, soil, and waste. Applying a Nexus Approach, the UNU-FLORES Nexus Observatory initiative responds to the needs of the UN and its Member States by encouraging political buy-in while also building capacity for data gathering that is holistic and responds to needs of decision makers at global, regional, and national levels.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed between UN-Habitat and UNU-FLORES aims to develop, test, and validate a monitoring methodology for SDG Target 6.3. In May 2016 a regional consultation in Asia, supported by the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam Ministry of Construction also resolved to develop such a methodology. UNUFLORES and UNHabitat have since worked closely to develop a prototype monitoring methodology that benefits from consultations with the Ministry of Environment and Bogor Agriculture University in Indonesia – the Wastewater Reuse Effectiveness Index (WREI). The approach guiding the methodology of the Wastewater Reuse Effectiveness Index (WREI) was endorsed by 11 countries at the 2017 Arab Water Week in Amman, Jordan. Preliminary discussions between UNU-FLORES and the State Secretariat of Sanitation and Water Resources of São Paulo, Brazil indicate support for pilot testing this methodology for monitoring SDG Target 6.3.