When the targets of SDG 6 are met in 2030, and / if the amount of untreated wastewater is reduced by half, millions of people in low-income countries that use wastewater for food production will remain exposed to long-term health risks in their daily lives. A new UNU-INWEH Policy Brief argues for a shift in thinking, in policies and investment – away from reactive public health measures to effective treatment of wastewater – the key to improving the livelihoods of these communities in the long run.
It’s high time to break the wastewater Catch-22 situation that low-income countries and their populations face as the use of untreated wastewater benefits poor communities, but comes with health and environmental risks and costs.
New thinking on ‘water security’ gives decision makers a practical approach to develop effective policies, design programs and plan investments that address all societal and socio-economic aspects of water for sustainable development. These include drinking water; ecosystems; climate change; economic activities; governance; trans-boundary cooperation; political stability and financing.
UNU-INWEH urges all water and development stakeholders to inspire themselves from the UN-Water framework on water security to guide creation of national SDG plans. Water security approaches link with Integrated Water Resources Management tools to deliver effective and measureable water development initiatives. UNU-INWEH proposes expertise and capacity building to help all partners put these approaches into use.
High Level Conference on Climate Change Assessment and Adaptation in the Arab Region