Sustainable Development Goal 6 – Clean Water And Sanitation

Water, the essence of life on Earth, is at the core of human survival and progress. Yet, in the 21st century, millions still lack access to clean water and basic sanitation. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically Goal 6, aim to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. This goal is not just about the resource itself but the foundation of a healthy, equitable, and prosperous world.

The Importance of Clean Water Supply

Clean water is vital for drinking, cooking, and hygiene. Without it, the risk of waterborne diseases escalates, education suffers as children miss school, and economic opportunities diminish. It’s a cornerstone for social and economic development.


Areas and Communities in Need

Globally, rural areas, remote communities, and regions with ongoing conflicts or environmental degradation suffer the most. In sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and parts of South America, millions trek long distances for water, often of dubious quality. Basic sanitation, a distant dream in many parts, directly impacts health and dignity.


Top Priorities for Sustainable Water Supply

  1. Infrastructure Development: Building and maintaining water supply systems, including wells, pipes, and treatment plants.
  2. Education and Awareness: Teaching communities about water conservation and hygiene practices.
  3. Policy and Governance: Implementing laws and regulations that prioritize water and sanitation for all.

For instance, in Singapore, NEWater represents a pioneering approach to water recycling, demonstrating how technology can revolutionize water management.


Global Health Implications

The lack of clean water and sanitation has a profound impact on global health. In rural areas, the spread of diseases like cholera and dysentery is rampant. Children, the most vulnerable, often bear the brunt, with millions dying yearly from preventable water-related diseases.


Improving Water Quality

Reducing pollution, preventing dumping, and minimizing hazardous materials are crucial. By treating wastewater and promoting its safe reuse, we can protect our health and the environment. Recycling wastewater not only conserves water but also reduces environmental pollution.


Ecosystem Protection and Restoration

Protecting water ecosystems – rivers, lakes, wetlands, and aquifers – is essential. These ecosystems are not just water sources; they’re biodiversity hotspots and natural water filters. Sustainable practices in agriculture and industry can significantly reduce water pollution.


Integrated Water Resources Management

This involves coordinating the development and management of water, land, and related resources. It requires cross-border cooperation, especially in regions sharing water bodies. Governments, NGOs, and international organizations must work together to manage these vital resources sustainably.


Empowering Local Communities

Local communities play a vital role in managing water resources. Empowering them through education, resources, and decision-making roles can lead to more sustainable and effective water management practices.

School or Homeschool Learning Ideas


  1. Water Scarcity Simulation – Conduct a water scarcity simulation where students experience the challenges of limited access to clean water. Use real-world examples like drought-stricken regions or communities without access to clean water sources. Through this simulation, students will gain empathy and understanding of the importance of clean water and sanitation for human health and wellbeing.
  2. Water Quality Testing – Organize a water quality testing activity where students collect water samples from local sources such as rivers, lakes, or taps, and analyze them for contaminants. Use real-world examples like the Flint water crisis to discuss the impact of poor water quality on public health and the importance of water treatment and sanitation infrastructure.
  3. Sanitation Facility Design Challenge – Challenge students to design innovative sanitation facilities that address the needs of communities lacking access to adequate sanitation. Use real-world examples like the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge initiated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to inspire students to develop sustainable solutions for sanitation problems in developing countries.
  4. Water Conservation Campaign – Empower students to launch a water conservation campaign in their school or local community to raise awareness about the importance of water conservation and sustainable water management practices. Use real-world examples like water-saving technologies, rainwater harvesting systems, and community-led water conservation initiatives to inspire students to take action in conserving water resources.
  5. Access to Clean Water Debate – Facilitate a debate or discussion on issues related to access to clean water and sanitation, such as water privatization, water rights, and water scarcity. Use real-world examples like the controversy surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline and the global water crisis to explore the complexities of ensuring access to clean water for all and the role of government policies, corporate interests, and community activism in addressing water-related challenges.


What Our Children Need to Know

  1. A Day Without Water: Imagine a day where you couldn’t turn on the tap for a glass of water. How would that change your daily routine?
  2. Water in Different Parts of the World: Some children have to walk miles to fetch water. How does this affect their lives and education?
  3. The Journey of a Water Drop: From rain to tap, understand the process of water reaching our homes.
  4. Water Conservation at Home: Simple practices like turning off the tap while brushing can save gallons of water.
  5. The Role of Forests and Wetlands: These natural environments play a crucial role in the water cycle.


The Big Questions

  1. How does water scarcity affect education and economic opportunities?
  2. What are some innovative solutions to recycle and conserve water?
  3. Can we balance economic growth and water sustainability?
  4. How does our daily water use impact the environment?
  5. What can we do to ensure everyone has access to clean water and sanitation?


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Upgrade to become a Premium Member and avail 20% discount on all courses.