Monitoring SDG6 on water and sanitation

Why is it important to monitor our water resources?

Credible water sector data will underpin advocacy, stimulate political commitment and public and private investments, inform decision-making at all levels and trigger well-placed investment targeted towards optimum health, environment and economic gains. Data thus provide numerous social, economic and environmental benefits in both the public and the private sectors.

Photo credit: Lahirjairams, Creative Commons Attribution

For example, monitoring water availability, withdrawals and consumption enables the use of mechanisms to promote improved allocation between users and uses, and stimulates water saving and use efficiency. Similarly, information on drinking water quality and the sanitation situation, including wastewater discharge, supports public health intervention and the protection of water bodies.

Over time, monitoring can also help to identify best practices and support productive integration across sectors and targets within the SDG framework.

Monitoring costs are often marginal compared to the large investments that are typical for the water sector, and informed investment decisions allow for efficient use of financial, human and natural resources.