We're falling behind on our sustainable development journey

The UN will host a water conference in New York in March 2023. The conference will take place at a crucial point in time, where we are experiencing conflicts, resource insecurity as well as climate consequences that are costing lives every single day. And do you know what's central to all of these challenges? 05-12-2022

Water. Water is at the very core of all of these challenges.

Perhaps not surprisingly, we are moving too slow in our chase for the UN sustainable development goals, also for goal #6, ensuring safe water and sanitation for all.

The latest State of Climate Action 2022 report lays out how much we are falling behind already:

“The world must quadruple the rate of progress to achieve the goals. Despite the past steady progress in goal #6, the world is far from on track to achieve it - along with all other water related goals and targets by 2030."

Considering the role of water in our food and energy security, our equity and equality needs, for health and urban development, for our economy, our stability and the inclusion of all, understanding this complexity, valuing water comprehensively and managing it inclusively is critical to the world’s security and a major foundation for a better future.

We need cross-sectional teamwork

Water is connected to all the development goals and other internationally agreed goals, including the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, among others. Water can play a crucial role to achieve the goals as well as the sustainable development in every economy in its three dimensions. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the critical importance of sanitation, hygiene, and adequate access to clean water for preventing and containing diseases. Considering the cross-cutting nature of water, there is a need for relevant decision and policy making to move away from a siloed approach and taking this into consideration, the three principles of the conference are: inclusive, cross-sectoral and action-orientated.

Danish input to the water agenda

Prior to the conference in New York, there will be an introductory meeting in Paris on Tuesday, December 6. The Danish Water Forum has submitted an abstract about groundwater which we believe should be placed very high on the water agenda. The contribution at the meeting will be carried out by representatives from the Danish Water Forum, where we are active members and have given our input due to our international reach.

Read more about the conference in New York here, or about the climate action report on The Climate Action Tracker (independent scientific analyses) website here.


Water loss: How to cope with one of the most important resource issues

Water is a scarce resource. By adding inadequate distribution management, we are faced with a more invisible, yet crucial problem: water loss, also referred to as non-revenue water, or NRW.

Learn more about non-revenue water here, and get inspired by the many ways of managing a global resource problem.


Water in the World - local and global challenges (PDF)

We need to help spread the word about the critical global water situation, and demand action.

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