Clean Water and Sanitation

About the goals

Water scarcity affects more than 40 percent of people, an alarming figure that is projected to rise as temperatures do. Although 2.1 billion people have improved water sanitation since 1990, dwindling drinking water supplies are affecting every continent.

More and more countries are experiencing water stress, and increasing drought and desertification is already worsening these trends. By 2050, it is projected that at least one in four people will suffer recurring water shortages. We invest in adequate infrastructure, provide sanitation facilities, and encourage hygiene. Protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems is essential.

Goal 6 on Clean Water and Sanitation aims to improve water quality by reducing pollution, substantially increasing water-use efficiency across all sectors and supporting and strengthening the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management. We must invest in adequate infrastructure, provide sanitation facilities, and encourage hygiene. Protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems is essential.

Why is it important and what is the current scenario?

Access to safe drinking water and sanitation is one of the most pressing challenges in the country and is being addressed by the government on a priority basis. As per 2011 Census data, 85.5 percent population had access to safe drinking water whereas only 30.8 percent of the households in rural areas had toilet facilities.

The allocation of water among various uses needs to be carefully planned to ensure sustainability. National initiatives like the Swachh Bharat Mission, National Rural Drinking Water Programme and National Mission for Clean Ganga - Namami Gange have provided the necessary thrust to India’s commitment on providing universal access to clean water and sanitation to all.

As a result of the Swachh Bharat Mission, as of November 2018, 96 percent of the targeted household toilets have been constructed and 3.9 lakh villages across India have been verified to be open defacation free.