Land & Water

Multi-stakeholder workshop: Monitoring and Reporting of SDG 6.4 target (water use and scarcity) in the Near East and North Africa region

From 13/12/2023 To 14/12/2023
Location: Cairo, Egypt

Background and rationale

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. Within the framework of this Agenda, FAO is working with member countries to ensure that the use of water in agriculture will be more efficient, productive, equitable and respectful of the environment. This means producing more food using less water, building the resilience of farming communities to cope with floods and droughts, and promoting innovative water technologies and governance models.

Freshwater scarcity is a main challenge in the Near East and North Africa Region (RNE) exacerbated by population growth, climate change, urbanization and conflict. Achieving SDG 6 is a key objective to ensure economic and social development of the region. In particular, it is important to monitor SDG target 6.4, which addresses water use and scarcity,. This target is monitored through two indicators.

  • Indicator 6.4.1, change in water use efficiency over time in all economic activities (USD/m3). It has been designed to address the economic component of target 6.4. This indicator should show the impact of economic growth on the use of water resources.
  • Indicator 6.4.2, level of water stress (%): freshwater withdrawal in proportion to available freshwater resources, after taking into account the required environmental flows.

As the custodian agency for these indicators, FAO supports the efforts of the countries in monitoring target 6.4 on water use and scarcity. This is done through AQUASTAT, FAO’s global water and agriculture information system. AQUASTAT data is obtained through a network of national correspondents who compile a questionnaire including all data necessary for the calculation of SDG target indicators.

Expected Outcomes

  • Countries in the Near East and North Africa region strengthen their capacities to collect water data, report, monitor and analyze SDG indicators 6.4.1 and 6.4.2 and use them effectively for the implementation of public policies related to agriculture, water and climate change agendas.
  • Increase in the response rate of AQUASTAT questionnaire in RNE countries (current response rate in North Africa is very low around 25%)

Intervention Strategy

The following intervention will be supported by the following current initiatives, taking advantage of synergies for collaborative work:

  1. FAO’s global Water and Agriculture Information System (AQUASTAT) which collects, analyzes and provides free access to more than 180 variables and indicators by country since 1960. AQUASTAT monitors and reports the progress of SDG 6.4 target indicators on water stress and the efficiency of water use.
  2. The Arab Forum for Sustainable Development (AFSD) is the primary regional mechanism for the follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Arab region. It brings together Arab Governments and sustainable development stakeholders to discuss progress, review national and regional experiences, and consider the latest developments and implementation mechanisms of the 2030 Agenda at the national and regional levels. The AFSD report sets out key messages emanating from regional dialogue on the opportunities and challenges of implementing the 2030 Agenda in Arab countries and delivers them to the annual global High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
  3. The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is working with Governments and international partners to build the capacity of its member States to better monitor, assess and address water scarcity challenges in the region. ESCWA is supporting the efforts of the Arab Water Council to implement its Arab Strategy for Water Security in the Arab Region to Meet the Challenges and Future Needs for Sustainable Development (2010-2030). ESCWA is supporting regional reporting on and monitoring of progress in achieving water-related SDGs.


The workshop is addressed to AQUASTAT and SDG 6.4 indicators country focal points in RNE countries. Two participants per country from different institutions involved in water data collection and SDG 6.4 monitoring are expected to participate.


For more information, visit:

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

SDG Indicator 6.4.1 "Water use efficiency"

SDG Indicator 6.4.2 "Water stress"