Monitoring SDG6 on water and sanitation

Indicator 6.3.2 “Proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality”

Target 6.3 sets out to improve ambient water quality – this page explains why and how to monitor progress towards the target, and what support that are available for countries to do so.

The indicator at a glance

The indicator tracks the percentage of water bodies in a country with good ambient water quality. “Good” indicates an ambient water quality that does not damage ecosystem function and human health according to core ambient water quality parameters.

Overall water quality is estimated based on a core set of parameters which inform on major water quality impairments present in many parts of the world:

  • dissolved oxygen (surface water)
  • electrical conductivity (surface water and groundwater)
  • nitrogen/nitrate (surface water and groundwater)
  • phosphorus (surface water)
  • pH (surface water and groundwater)

The methodology calls for in-situ measurements of these water quality parameters. The measured values are compared to national target levels for the different parameters, and if values do not exceed the target level, the water body is classified as good.

Available support 2019-2022

UNEP is the custodian of indicator 6.3.2. For any inquiries about available support, please contact their helpdesk.

Guidance on data collection and reporting

Online support

Face-to-face support

  • National workshops in selected countries
  • Regional workshops

Data and progress reporting