Land & Water

Key reports on SDG 6.4.1 & 6.4.2 indicators launched at World Water Week

New reports focus on Water-use efficiency and level of water stress indicators

The Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG6 (IMI-SDG6) team at FAO has elaborated two reports that highlight the latest progress by countries on the achievement of SDG target 6.4, in coordination with UN-Water and the 8 custodian agencies of the SDG6 indicators.  

One report is focused on indicator 6.4.1 which has been designed to assess the economic use of water resources in terms of the value added when they are used in different sectors of the economy. Water-use efficiency is strongly influenced by a country’s economic structure, the proportion of water intensive sectors and any “real” improvements or deteriorations. Increasing water-use efficiency over time means decoupling economic growth from water use across the main water-using sectors, which are agriculture, industry, energy and municipal water supply. This report introduces the overall conceptual and methodological development of the indicator, as well as the data collection challenges. Then, it presents the progress on the change in water use efficiency globally, for 166 countries with available data from 2015 to 2018, and an analysis of the potential decoupling of economic growth and water use with a cohort of 86 country data for the period 2006-2018. Finally, the report provides hints for the interpretability of the indicator results, along with some recommendations in order to accelerate an equitable increase in water use efficiency, especially in those countries that are more affected by unsustainable water use. 

The second report focuses on indicator 6.4.2 on the level of water stress. This indicator is useful for policymaking as it highlights those regions under high water stress, thereby informing countries on where they need to make efforts to improve water resource usage and promote water saving. This report presents an update of the latest consolidated data in the monitoring process of indicator 6.4.2 for 188 countries, which provides an estimate of the pressure exerted by all economic sectors on a country's renewable freshwater resources. It also considers environmental flow requirements since these are essential to maintaining ecosystem health and resilience. Results are presented at global, regional, country, and also at major river basin scale. Finally, some recommendations, based on the interpretation of the results, are provided in order to accelerate and to set paths of action for the different actors that can mobilize resources, knowledge and cooperation on the achievement of target 6.4. 

More information on the work by IMI-SDG6 at FAO can be found here >>

You can download the reports here:
SDG 6.4.1 - Change in water-use efficiency over time >>
SDG 6.4.2 - Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal in percentage of available freshwater resources >>