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Clean water and sanitation

No one should be without clean water and sanitation.

Access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation infrastructure, and basic hygiene facilities, is fundamental for people’s health and wellbeing. It’s also a basic human right. Yet 3 in 10 people have no access to a safely managed water resource.

Additionally, more than 2 billion people – spanning every continent – live in countries experiencing water stress. This is a situation that is expected to worsen as populations continue to grow, and the effects of climate change intensify.

Where water is available collecting, treating and reusing wastewater from households and industry is often a major challenge for the water sector in both developing and developed countries. It’s estimated that 80 per cent of global wastewater is released back into the environment without adequate treatment; polluting ecosystems and limiting opportunities for reuse and recycling of water in stressed areas.

Encouraging efficient water use and wastewater treatment, while preserving functioning water-related ecosystems, is essential for protecting global resources. This is why United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) calls for an integrated, holistic approach to water resources management. Recognising the scale of this challenge, ICMM members commit to effective water stewardship as set out in the ICMM water position statement.

Focus areas

Wastewater management

Reusing wastewater helps alleviate water stress, protects health, mitigates impacts to ecosystems, and provides water resources for agriculture and industry.

Sanitation and hygiene

Access to safe, affordable water and adequate, equitable sanitation and hygiene is vital for for sustainable development and social progress.

Water-use efficiency and water scarcity

Innovative, technology-driven solutions are being globally implemented to ensure more efficient and sustainable water use.