Everyone on earth should have access to safe and affordable drinking water. That’s the goal for 2030. While many people take clean drinking water and sanitation for granted, many others don’t.
Water scarcity affects more than 40 percent of people around the world, and that number is projected to go even higher as a result of climate change. If we continue the path we’re on, by 2050 at least one in four people are likely to be affected by recurring water shortages.
But we can take a new path—more international cooperation, protecting wetlands and rivers, sharing water-treatment technologies—that leads to accomplishing this Goal. The first three targets of this goal are:
“By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all."
"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."
"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."
Access to clean water is essential for life. In short, Global Goal 6 seeks to ensure that all people have access to an adequate amount of clean water and sanitation facilities so they can live healthy and productive lives.
Now, let’s talk about water scarcity. Severe droughts, lack of water-related infrastructure (e.g., wells, irrigation systems), and the mismanagement of fresh water supplies all lead to water scarcity. This issue affects more than 40% of the global population, and that number is projected to rise. Given that water is essential for life, it’s abundance is a high priority for every single country.
The first step in improving sanitation is acknowledging that open defecation is an issue. As awareness of this issue increases, the effort put into ending open defecation for good will also increase. Building wells or installing toilets isn’t enough. Long-ingrained cultural practices make it hard for some communities to shift their daily routines. Finally, treat water the way it should be treated, as a finite natural resource. Be more conscientious of how you use water, and support policies or organizations that increase efficiencies in water usage.
Are you ready to work towards getting yourself and your society to clean water and sanitation glory? Where can you start?
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