My family just walked out the door, along with our dog, to go on a hike around a beautiful lake near our house. Each of my family members grabbed a cup and filled it with clean filtered water as they always do. They also took along a portable water dish for our dog. This simple everyday act, filling a cup with clean water, is something that we take for granted. Clean water is easily accessible for us. I have never worried about going somewhere and not having clean water to drink. Families in other countries do not have these same luxuries. GOAL #6: Clean Water and Sanitation is part of the United Nations’ 17 Global Goals of Sustainable Development. In only 9 days, on September 25th, 2015, at the UN Sustainable Development Summit, 193 World leaders will join together to adopt 17 important Global Goals.
Goal 6 is very straightforward: To ensure access to water and sanitation for all. There is sufficient fresh water on this planet, we just need to make sure it is clean for all to drink. It is heartbreaking to read that every year, millions of people, most of them children, die from diseases associated with a scarce water supply and poor sanitation and hygiene. A lack of water, poor water quality, and poor sanitation have a negative impact on food security, employment choices, and educational opportunities for poor families around the world. In many areas, usually in the poorest countries, a drought can occur which then worsens hunger and malnutrition.
Here are some facts and figures from the United Nations.
- 1.7 billion people have gained access to safe drinking water since 1990, but 663 million people are still without.
- Between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of the global population using an improved drinking water source has increased from 76 percent to 91 percent.
- Water scarcity affects more than 40 percent of the global population and is projected to rise.
- 2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services, such as toilets or latrines.
- Hydropower is the most important and widely-used renewable source of energy and as of 2011, represented 16 percent of total electricity production worldwide.
As Deepak Chopra so clearly stated, “Although we take it for granted, sanitation is a physical measure that has probably done more to increase human life span than any kind of drug or surgery”
The United Nations estimates that there are 2.5 billion people who do not have access to sanitation facilities. What are the goals? How can we reach them in the next 15 years?
The goals are clear, we need to make clean water and sanitation available to everyone. The United Nations has clearly explained how they plan to achieve Goal 6.
- 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
- 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
- By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate
- By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes
- By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programs, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies
- Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management
I hope you will join me in learning more about what you can do to help everyone have clean water and sanitation in their lives. Goal #6 as well as all the other 16 Global Goals will carry us through the next 15 years. We all know how time flies, 15 years will feel like a blink of the eye. The year 2030 is right around the corner, we NEED to be the first generation to end extreme poverty, the most determined generation in history to end injustice and inequality, and the last generation to be threatened by climate change.
There are many easy ways to join in.
*Take a Global Goals Selfie and help to spread awareness.
*Like and follow along at the Global Goals Facebook page.
*Watch this video and learn how you can get involved.
*Follow along on the Global Goals Instagram feed.
Help our kids become the generation that changed the world: ending poverty, reversing climate change, and promising girls get educated. Talk to your kids about the #GlobalGoals with this fun guide: http://cdn.globalgoals.
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Images courtesy of Getty Images.