Monitoring SDG6 on water and sanitation


Data collection across sectors and administration levels

The SDG 6 indicators correspond to different aspects of water and sanitation, and information about these are frequently collected by different sectors.

For example, 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 compiled by national and subnational ministries or the National Statistical Office, whereas other data are collected by non-state actors such as utilities, universities and research institutes, non-governmental organizations and citizens’ initiatives, the private sector and development partners.

The recommended methodologies for monitoring SDG 6 indicators also include very different mechanisms for harvesting data, ranging from household surveys to Earth observations.

Collating all the information from across sectors helps to identify the bigger picture (adapted from SEEA-Water)

Coherence in policy- and decision-making

To achieve SDG 6 it is necessary to move away from the sectoral approach characteristic of the water and sanitation sector, towards a more integrated 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 well-being.

An integrated management approach can therefore only be obtained by integrating hydrological, environmental, social and economic information. As such, one of the monitoring effort’s key objectives is to collate all this information, to enable a comprehensive assessment and analysis of the state of water resources and the different development paths, and to help reduce institutional fragmentation.

Breaking the silos – a key objective of the monitoring effort is to collate all information, to aid an integrated management approach that contributes to reducing institutional fragmentation. Photo credit: Etienne Poulin, Creative Commons Attribution

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.


Data, IWRM, and Process