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Holistic management of the water cycle means taking into account the level of “water stress”, calculated as the ratio of total fresh water withdrawn by all major sectors to the total renewable fresh water resources in a particular country or region. Currently, water stress affects more than 2 billion people around the world, a figure that is projected to rise. Already, water stress affects countries on every continent and hinders the sustainability of natural resources, as well as economic and social development. In 2011, 41 countries experienced water stress, an increase from 36 countries in 1998. Of those, 10 countries, on the Arabian Peninsula, in Central Asia and in Northern Africa, withdrew more than 100 per cent of their renewable fresh water resources. [Report of the Secretary-General, "Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals", E/2016/75]
Integrated water resources management, one of the follow-up actions to the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg Plan of Implementation), aims to address this urgent situation. In 2012, 65 per cent of the 130 countries that responded to a survey question on integrated water resources management reported that management plans were in place at the national level. [Report of the Secretary-General, "Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals", E/2016/75]
Effective water and sanitation management also depends on the participation of stakeholders. According to a 2013-2014 Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water survey, 83 per cent of the 94 countries surveyed reported that procedures for stakeholder participation were clearly defined in law or policy. In the Sustainable Development Goals, the focus is being refined to also include the participation of local communities, which will be captured in the next cycle of Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water monitoring. [Report of the Secretary-General, "Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals", E/2016/75]
The Report of the Secretary-General, "Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals",E/2017/66about this SDG says:
Targets set by SDG 6 are:"Access to safe water and sanitation and sound management of freshwater ecosystems are essential to human health and to environmental sustainability and economic prosperity."
1. By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all;
2. By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations;
3. By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally;
4. By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity;
5. By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate;
6. By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes.
A) By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies;
B) Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management.
The global indicator framework was developed by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) and agreed to, as a practical starting point at the 47th session of the UN Statistical Commission held in March 2016. The report of the Commission, which included the global indicator framework, was then taken note of by ECOSOC at its 70th session in June 2016. [SDG Indicators - Revised list of global Sustainable Development Goal indicators]
This was only an introduction to SDG 6, so it is up to you to help me spread it around!