Integrated information for integrated management

Breaking the silos – water is used across all sectors of society and to ensure resource sustainability, it is important to develop and manage the resource in an integrated manner (Photo credit: Etienne Poulin, Creative Commons Attribution)

Breaking the silos – water is used across all sectors of society and to ensure resource sustainability, it is important to develop and manage the resource in an integrated manner (Photo credit: Etienne Poulin, Creative Commons Attribution)

Coherence in policy- and decision-making

To “ensure access and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”, it is necessary to move away from the sectoral approach that is characteristic for water resources, to adopt a more integrated overall approach to management.

To design coherent policies and make informed development decisions, it is necessary to assess and analyse the potential consequences of different development paths on social, economic and environmental wellbeing.

An integrated management approach, including such a comprehensive assessment and analysis of different development paths, can only be obtained by also integrating hydrological, environmental, social and economic information.  

Data collection across sectors and levels of governance

The SDG 6 indicators respond to different aspects of water and sanitation, and information about the different aspects are commonly collected by the different sectors. Data on water use in agriculture are often collected by the ministry of agriculture, whereas data on drinking water quality may be collected by the ministry of health, and data on ambient water quality and wastewater discharge by the ministry of environment.

Some data are collected by individual utilities, by municipalities or at other sub-national levels, whereas other data are collected and or compiled at the national level by line ministries or the national statistical office.

The proposed methodologies for the monitoring of SDG 6 indicators also include very different mechanisms for harvesting data, ranging from household surveys to earth observation.