Water is at the core of sustainable development. Water resources, and the range of services they provide, underpin poverty reduction, economic growth and environmental sustainability. From food and energy security to human and environmental health, water contributes to improvements in social well-being and inclusive growth, affecting the livelihoods of billions.
In a sustainable world that is achievable in the near future, water and related resources are managed in support of human well-being and ecosystem integrity in a robust economy. Sufficient and safe water is made available to meet every person’s basic needs, with healthy lifestyles and behaviours easily upheld through reliable and affordable water supply and sanitation services, in turn supported by equitably extended and efficiently managed infrastructure. Water resources management, infrastructure and service delivery are sustainably financed. Water is duly valued in all its forms, with wastewater treated as a resource that avails energy, nutrients and freshwater for reuse. Human settlements develop in harmony with the natural water cycle and the ecosystems that support it, with measures in place that reduce vulnerability and improve resilience to water-related disasters. Integrated approaches to water resources development, management and use − and to human rights − are the norm. Water is governed in a participatory way that draws on the full potential of women and men as professionals and citizens, guided by a number of able and knowledgeable organizations, within a just and transparent institutional framework.