State of the World's Drinking Water
An urgent call to action to accelerate progress on ensuring safe drinking water for all
In the last two decades investment in drinking water services has led to considerable increases in access. Two billion people globally gained access to safely managed drinking water services. In 2020, 74% of the world’s population used safely managed drinking water, up from 62% in 2000. Despite this progress, there are wide geographical disparities, and 2 billion people still do not use safely managed drinking water. The world is not even close to being on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Continued progress on SDG Target 6.1, and the additional acceleration needed to achieve universal
access, is threatened by the ever-increasing impacts and uncertainty of climate change, competing agricultural and ecological water needs, competing financial priorities and the challenges of existing and emerging threats to water quality.
This report presents the state of drinking water in the world today, the progress being made towards achieving SDG Target 6.1 — to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030 — and the challenges that remain. The SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework calls on governments to make progress on governance, financing, capacity development, data and information and innovation. Using this framework, recommendations are presented, illustrated by examples of how countries have addressed the challenge of providing safely managed drinking water. The report includes a comprehensive set of recommendations structured around governance, financing, capacity development, data and information and innovation.