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Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Written by: Hallie Fried, Intern

The Problem:

Here in Northeast Ohio, we’re lucky enough to be so close to our water supply: Lake Erie. However, there are many people around the world who are born into areas or live in regions that lack clean water. Today, according to the United Nations, more than 40% of people don’t have access to clean water. Unfortunately, it is predicted that this percentage will continue to grow as temperatures around the world rise. This could cause more bodies of water to evaporate quickly, essentially deplenishing the little amount of freshwater that is left. Without a sufficient source of freshwater, some countries have begun to turn to different sources to gain access to water. These sources are often unclean and unsafe, and can result in illnesses and diseases. The United Nations predicts that by 2050, at least one in four people will lack access to clean water.

Gracious and Robina carefully collecting ‘water’ in Uganda – 2017

The Solution:

Thankfully, this problem has not gone unnoticed. The United Nations Development Programme has noticed the prevalence of the lack of clean water, and has created a Sustainable Goal to “ensure universal access to safe and affordable drinking water by 2030” (source). In order to reach this goal, the UN must incorporate infrastructure and safe sanitation facilities. Along with these, the UN will stress the importance of good hygiene and drinking clean, safe water only. “Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation” is not the only goal that the UN has set out to accomplish; they have 17 goals in total that will work to “meet the urgent environmental, political and economic challenges facing our world”.

The UN has already made a huge impact with SDG6. For example, according to the UN, the percentage of the global population that used an improved water source was 82% in 2000, and with the help of the UN, that percentage grew to 91% in 2015. Additionally, the percentage of people using improved sanitation facilities grew from 59% in 2000 to 68% in 2015. These facts verify that more people now have access to clean water, and less people are practicing open defecation.


How Drink Local. Drink Tap. is Helping:

Drink Local Drink Tap has not only brought awareness to the necessity of water sustainability, but has also provided direct access to clean water in east Africa where about 783 million people lack access to clean water (source). By creating a sustainable method to access clean water, DLDT has improved the lives of 10,567 people in Uganda. Providing a source for water is not only improving their health, but it also shortens the length that many women and children will spend on their daily walk to collect water that is often unclean. On average, women and children will walk four miles to collect water. By shortening this long and difficult walk with direct access to clean water, children are able to stay in school and get an education that will help them to succeed later in life.


New, clean drinking water in Tororo, Uganda – 2017


How You Can Help:

Providing access to clean water and creating sustainable sanitation facilities may seem like an arduous task, but with the help of others, it can be accomplished. There are many great ways that you can get involved in this rewarding work:

  • Educate yourself on clean water access via DLDT’s videos and social media
  • Volunteer with DLDT to help with areas from planning events to fundraising
  • Become a funding partner
  • Attend or support 4 Miles 4 Water
  • Teach others about Sustainable Development Goal 6
  • Donate to DLDT– just $30 can supply one person with clean water for life



Perkins Beach Cleanup, Cleveland – August 12th, 2017


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