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OUR VISION FOR WATER & SANITATION BY 2050

Thriving aquatic ecosystems that support food, energy and public health for all

01

WATER & SANITATION ARE AVAILABLE FOR ALL

02

WATER IS APPROPRIATELY VALUED

03

WATER AND SANITATION RESOURCES ARE MANAGED IN A CIRCULAR FASHION

04

WATER QUALITY AND ECOSYSTEMS
ARE PROTECTED

KEY TRANSITIONS

INFRASTRUCTURE AND TECHNOLOGY ARE DEPLOYED FASTER TO ENSURE UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO WATER

  • Sufficient clean and safe drinking water is made accessible and affordable for all.
  • Strong governance systems and international public-private collaboration drive improvements in water-related infrastructure, facilitating the supply, conveyance and storage of water globally.
  • Sustainable technological solutions scale up to increase water availability by tapping non-traditional water resources and making water infrastructure smarter.
  • Water reuse and recycling help to meet water demand without increasing water stress, especially in urban areas, relying on more distant water sources. Wastewater is treated to a stricter and globally harmonized quality standard.

THE TRUE VALUE OF WATER IS RECOGNIZED BY ALL

  • The social, cultural, aesthetic, environmental, economic, recreational and educational value of freshwater and water-related ecosystems is universally recognized and accounted for.
  • Water valuation becomes a key driver of corporate behavior.
  • Water-related challenges and risks attract widespread attention among institutional investors and are integrated into portfolio management practices.
  • Supportive policies and advancements in technology and product design align to shift domestic water usage towards much higher efficiency. Water-efficient household appliances and water-saving behaviors become commonplace.
  • Consumers become increasingly aware of the value of water and embrace less water-intensive products and practices.

INTEGRATED WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT APPROACHES ARE WIDELY IMPLEMENTED

  • Integrated water resource management approaches ensure water withdrawals respect basin-level thresholds. This helps to limit water stress levels across the globe.
  • Businesses transition from water and wastewater management to water stewardship, embracing stakeholder-inclusive processes that include both site- and catchment-based actions.
  • Water, land, and related resources are managed in a coordinated way in the context of food and agriculture.
  • Solutions are adapted to local hydrological, geopolitical, social, and environmental contexts.

TARGET-SETTING, MEASUREMENT, AND DISCLOSURE DRIVE WATER STEWARDSHIP ACROSS SECTORS

  • Science-based targets for water are embraced as key to meeting or exceeding sustainable freshwater quantity and quality thresholds in the catchments in which companies operate, source, or sell.
  • Businesses implement standardized processes for measuring, managing, and disclosing their dependencies and impacts on water, and actively engage with value chain partners and investors to improve performance.

CIRCULAR WATER MANAGEMENT BECOMES THE NORM

  • All sectors embrace strategies, initiatives, and emerging technologies to reduce, reuse, and recycle water, while also recovering resources and replenishing watersheds.
  • Innovation in resource recovery from wastewater scales rapidly. The recovery of resources such as energy, chemical nutrients, and metals generates important inputs into the wider circular economy.
  • Companies leverage opportunities for collaboration and use treated wastewater to help meet water demand from other industries, as well as their own operations.

RELIABLE SANITATION AND HYGIENE SERVICES BECOME AVAILABLE FOR ALL AS THE SANITATION ECONOMY THRIVES

  • Safely managed, physically accessible and culturally acceptable sanitation services reach the entirety of the population, helping to eliminate open defecation.
  • All companies ensure their employees have access to water and sanitation, and promote safe hygiene practices at work and beyond.
  • Businesses collaborate with governments on new sanitation systems that recover costs for governments and generate revenues for the private sector.
  • Circular economy approaches are increasingly applied to sanitation as new technologies enable resource recovery and reuse, and biological waste becomes a valuable resource.
  • Digitized sanitation systems help to optimize data for operating efficiencies, and maintenance while also providing insights into consumer and public health.

COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS REGENERATE WATER-BASED ECOSYSTEMS AND MINIMIZE WATER POLLUTION

  • International cooperation and capacity-building efforts ensure that water-related ecosystems are protected and restored.
  • Uncontrolled point source pollution ceases, ensuring discharges do not reduce the quality of water bodies or the health of associated ecosystems and people.
  • Non-point source pollution from diffuse sources, such as agriculture, is abated. Actions are taken to limit fertilizer and agrochemical runoff. Water pollutants are eliminated through concerted efforts across value chains.
  • Stakeholders along global value chains come together to tackle the issue of marine plastics, cleaning up areas where plastic waste is concentrated and stemming the flow of waste at source.

ACTION AREAS

FOR BUSINESS

2021-2030

01

Establish appropriate water targets at the corporate level that are informed by science and help to drive context-specific watershed actions.

02

Strengthen corporate disclosure of water-related dependencies and impacts, referring to the true value of water.

03

Implement water stewardship approaches that drive socially and culturally equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically productive water use.

04

Safely treat all wastewater and increase water recycling and reuse while reducing pollution and eliminating the release of hazardous chemicals and materials.

05

Enhance consumer awareness of appropriate water behaviors and innovate around products that help reduce water use in day-to-day activities.

06

Advance water-smart agriculture solutions to support production in contexts of growing water scarcity.

07

Take action to ensure access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation, while also raising awareness about hygiene practices, throughout company operations and supply chains.

08

Collaborate with governments to advance the policies, safety standards, and blended finance solutions needed to build water and sanitation-related infrastructure in under-served regions and stimulate a thriving sanitation economy.

09

Come together with peers and wider stakeholder groups to consolidate and enhance water and sanitation-related data availability.

10

Collaborate on and invest in efforts to clean up, restore, and monitor water-related ecosystems.

Most Relevant SDGS

OTHER TRANSFORMATION PATHWAYS

Explore the other critical action areas that will drive a shift towards a sustainable future

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