AQUASTAT - FAO's Global Information System on Water and Agriculture


    IMI-SDG6: Monitoring Target 6.4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

    UN Water - Coordinating the UN's work on water and sanitation

    In September 2015, heads of state from all around the world gathered in New York to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an ambitious plan of action for people, planet and prosperity, comprised of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It includes a dedicated goal on water and sanitation (SDG 6) that sets out to "ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all".

    The UN-Water Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6 - IMI-SDG6 brings together the United Nations organizations that are formally mandated to compile country data on the SDG 6 global indicators, and builds on ongoing efforts such as the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP), Global Environment Monitoring System for Water (GEMS/Water), FAO’s Global Information System on Water and Agriculture (AQUASTAT) and UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS).

    JMP and GLAAS were already tracking progress for drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (SDG targets 6.1 and 6.2, and part of 6.a and 6.b), but the many initiatives that monitored different aspects of the management of water, wastewater and ecosystem resources (SDG targets 6.3 to 6.6) lacked a coherent global mechanism. To meet this need, IMI-SDG6 was established in 2014 as an inter-agency initiative composed of FAO, UNECE, UN Environment, UN-Habitat, UNICEF, UNESCO, WHO and WMO.

    The focus of IMI-SDG6 is to integrate and expand existing monitoring efforts on wastewater treatment and water quality (6.3.2), water use (6.4.1) and scarcity (6.4.2), integrated water resources management (6.5.1) including transboundary cooperation (6.5.2) and water-related ecosystems (6.6.1). Since these indicators are new at the global scale, they are associated with a great need for awareness raising and capacity building at all levels.

    • Integrate and expand existing monitoring efforts, to ensure harmonised monitoring of the entire water cycle
    • Provide member states with a monitoring guide for SDG targets 6.3-6.6
    • Engage member states and enhance their capacity in water sector monitoring
    • Report on global progress towards SDG targets 6.3-6.6

    As a partner of the IMI-SDG6 initiative, FAO is the custodian agency for the monitoring of SDG Target 6.4 that aims at: "By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity". Two indicators were formulated to monitor this target:

    The monitoring of Target 6.4 relies largely on the data, the guidelines and the methodologies developed and provided by AQUASTAT.

    Moreover, while WHO and UN-Habitat are the custodian agencies for Target 6.3, also that target relies largely on AQUASTAT data, especially with regards to wastewater production, collection, treatment, use and discharge.

    Information, including methodological aspects related to the indicators of Target 6.4 for which FAO is the custodian agency can be found at the dedicated website.

    More information on IMI-SDG6 can be found in the Integrated monitoring initiative for SDG 6 web page.