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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Progress on achieving SDG 6

Access to safe drinking water is achieved in Sweden, hence there is still a need for preventive measures and additional protection of drinking water, especially considering future climate change.

In 2017, around 90% of the Swedish population was connected to municipal wastewater treatment plants. Major efforts have been made to reduce the presence of microplastics and pharmaceutical residues in water.

Since 2017, knowledge about water abstraction and water use has increased. Work on regional water supply plans and efficient water use has progressed.

In implementing the Water Framework Directive and related EU directives, Sweden has integrated water management at all administrative levels and in transboundary cooperation.

Between 2017 and 2019, some 70 nature reserves with a limnological purpose were created. As physical impacts from hydropower plants, dams and land drainage pose a significant threat to ecosystems and biodiversity in the aquatic environment.

Sweden has major remaining challenges related to water. Effects of climate change such as water shortages, droughts and floods need to be addressed. In the most recent survey (third management cycle 2016-2021), about 40% of Sweden’s surface water bodies had good ecological status.

Through its international development cooperation, Sweden has broad global engagement in areas related to SDG 6, such as climate change, water and sanitation, and risk reduction.

Sweden provides core and earmarked support to UN agencies such as UNICEF, UNDP and the World Bank which run water and sanitation programmes.

Sweden has taken steps to integrate WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) as an important tool to ensure sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), which is a priority for the Swedish Government.

Sweden is the host country for the Global Water Partnership Organization (GWPO).

Read the full report here: SWEDEN 2021 Report on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (



*The information reflected on this page has been taken directly from the official VNR received from this Member State. The information does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations.