Safe water and access to proper sanitation are essential to eradicate poverty, build peaceful societies and ensure that no one is left behind on the path towards sustainable development, according to the recent 2019 UN World Water Development Report. The goal is to ensure enough clean water for all on earth.
The report underscores that exclusion, discrimination, poverty and inequalities are among the main obstacles to achieving the water-related goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
While the wealthy generally receive high levels of service at low prices, the poor often pay a much higher price for services of similar, or lesser quality. This leaves billions without access to safe water or proper sanitation.
The report lays out recommendations on how to overcome exclusion and inequality for everyone to access water and sanitation, including by highlighting that investing in it makes good economic sense.
While prioritizing those most in need, the report maintains that international human rights law obliges States to impartially work for all to have access to water resources while shining a spotlight on accountability, transparency and justice as good governance features.
Finally, Leaving no one behind points out that tailored responses targeting specific groups can help ensure that affordable water supply and sanitation services help to make sure there is enough water for all to enjoy.