Presenting target 6.5 on water resources management
What and why?
Many different sectors are dependent on water; as a consequence, where water resources are limited, use conflicts arise. The commonly fragmented management of water resources is particularly inept at solving such conflicts and ensuring a sustainable use of the resource. As a response, target 6.5 aims for the implementation of integrated water resources management (IWRM) at all levels. The concept of IWRM seeks to promote the coordinated development and management of water- and land-related resources, in order to maximize economic and social welfare in an equitable manner, without compromising the sustainability of ecosystems.
Water resources are naturally confined in water basins, which, from an ecological point of view, is the most appropriate scale for water resources management. However, water basins often cut across administrative borders, calling for coordination and cooperation among several administrative units, including at the transboundary level. In target 6.5, this is reflected in the wording “at all levels”; the explicit mentioning of the transboundary level is related to the fact that most of the world’s freshwater resources are transboundary, and that coordination and cooperation across national borders, while necessary, can be especially challenging.
Progress towards target 6.5 at the global level will be monitored through two indicators: