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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Aqualia (
Private sector

    StepbyWater is a pioneering multi-stakeholder and multi-sector alliance, born and driven in Spain, with international presence, championing the new multi-stakeholder governance framework proposed by the UN, in its SDG 17, to address water challenges and contribute to accelerate the achievement of SDG 6, Water and sanitation.
    The United Nations has positioned water and sanitation as a cross-cutting and vital objective, stating that if the targets of SDG 6 are not achieved, it will not be possible to achieve those of the rest of the goals.
    Contributing to the achievement of SDG 6 and its respective targets requires its own effort and framework for action, in line with the Decade for Action "Water for Sustainable Development", 2018- 2028.
    Born and driven from Spain, a country that, despite water scarcity, is the eighth country with the highest water footprint in the world.
    - To advance and promote the principles and goals of the 2030 Agenda in general and SDG 6 and the UN Decade "Water for Sustainable Development" (2018 - 2028) in particular.
    - Support governments and supranational entities in the consolidation and implementation of plans towards the achievement of the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda and post-COVID-19 reconstruction, in terms of Sustainability.
    - Consolidate and inspire the formation of multi-sectoral alliances in support of SDG 17 of the UN, as an instrumental strategic objective and governance framework, at the service of the central government and regional, provincial and municipal governments to jointly and cooperatively address the major territorial challenges related to water, climate and sustainable development.
    - Favouring spaces for reflection, cooperation, dialogue, Think Tanks, working groups and innovation to promote the search for global solutions to water challenges and other major global risks such as the climate crisis.
    - Raise society's awareness of the importance of contributing to tackling the major challenges related to water and climate change. Humanity is not prepared to withstand the onslaught of another global crisis.

    Expected Impact

    The entities commit ourselves to:
    1. Promote and advance the principles and objectives of the Water Decade for Action as a champion of progress and sustainable development.
    2. Promote, raise awareness, train and educate about the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in particular, SDG 6 as a cross-cutting goal for the achievement of the other goals.
    3. Encourage spaces for cooperation and dialogue to promote the search for global solutions to the challenges of water and the climate crisis, in an environment of synergies and alliances with all the agents involved.
    4. To challenge public administrations, supranational bodies, companies, associations and civil society in general to join the "Cultural Water Revolution" and take action for the climate through dissemination, communication and outreach activities.
    5. Support municipal and provincial governments in the consolidation of plans aimed at achieving the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda.
    6. Act with a global perspective on the local level.
    7. Provide spaces for reflection and transfer of knowledge and research on the SDG6 and the optimal management of water as a vital element in sustainable development, facilitating the exchange of good practices.
    8. Support innovation processes aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, especially those related to water and climate action.
    9. Promote awareness of the Water Decade for Action, the principles of this Manifesto and its adhesion in its value chain, as well as the promotion of the actions that may be developed.
    10. Work to ensure that the objectives proposed by the United Nations become a true reality, step by step, even beyond the time horizon set by the UN.


    With the support of: Gobierno de España and Federación Española de Municipios y Provincias.

    Partner organisations: Unilever, Coca-cola, Cruz Roja Española, Segittur, Mahou San Miguel, L'oreal, Climatetrade, Don Simón, Paradores, Almanatura, Fundación Caja Rural del Sur, Fundación Patrimonio Culturar Olivarero, Cosentino, HomeServe, Balam agriculture, Rfen aquatics, CAPSA Food, Alastria, Hostelling International, Trops, Avanza, Federación Andaluza de Municipios y Provincias, Ayuntamiento de Segovia, Fenacore e Imagina Energía

    Goal 6

    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

    Goal 6


    By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all


    Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services


    By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations


    Proportion of population using (a) safely managed sanitation services and (b) a hand-washing facility with soap and water


    By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally


    Proportion of domestic and industrial wastewater flows safely treated


    Proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality


    By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity

    Change in water-use efficiency over time


    Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal as a proportion of available freshwater resources


    By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate


    Degree of integrated water resources management 


    Proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for water cooperation


    By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes

    Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time


    By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies

    Amount of water- and sanitation-related official development assistance that is part of a government-coordinated spending plan


    Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management


    Proportion of local administrative units with established and operational policies and procedures for participation of local communities in water and sanitation management

    Goal 11

    Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

    Goal 11


    By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums


    Proportion of urban population living in slums, informal settlements or inadequate housing


    By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons

    Proportion of population that has convenient access to public transport, by sex, age and persons with disabilities


    By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries

    Ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate


    Proportion of cities with a direct participation structure of civil society in urban planning and management that operate regularly and democratically


    Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage


    Total per capita expenditure on the preservation, protection and conservation of all cultural and natural heritage, by source of funding (public, private), type of heritage (cultural, natural) and level of government (national, regional, and local/municipal)


    By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations


    Number of deaths, missing persons and directly affected persons attributed to disasters per 100,000 population


    Direct economic loss attributed to disasters in relation to global domestic product (GDP)


    (a) Damage to critical infrastructure and (b) number of disruptions to basic services, attributed to disasters


    By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management


    Proportion of municipal solid waste collected and managed in controlled facilities out of total municipal waste generated, by cities


    Annual mean levels of fine particulate matter (e.g. PM2.5 and PM10) in cities (population weighted)


    By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities

    Average share of the built-up area of cities that is open space for public use for all, by sex, age and persons with disabilities


    Proportion of persons victim of physical or sexual harassment, by sex, age, disability status and place of occurrence, in the previous 12 months


    Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning


    Number of countries that have national urban policies or regional development plans that (a) respond to population dynamics; (b) ensure balanced territorial development; and (c) increase local fiscal space


    By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels


    Number of countries that adopt and implement national disaster risk reduction strategies in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030


    Proportion of local governments that adopt and implement local disaster risk reduction strategies in line with national disaster risk reduction strategies


    Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials

    Goal 17

    Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

    Goal 17


    Strengthen domestic resource mobilization, including through international support to developing countries, to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection

    Total government revenue as a proportion of GDP, by source
    Proportion of domestic budget funded by domestic taxes


    Developed countries to implement fully their official development assistance commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries; ODA providers are encouraged to consider setting a target to provide at least 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries

    Net official development assistance, total and to least developed countries, as a proportion of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee donors’ gross national income (GNI)


    Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources


    Additional financial resources mobilized for developing countries from multiple sources 

    Volume of remittances (in United States dollars) as a proportion of total GDP


    Assist developing countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing, debt relief and debt restructuring, as appropriate, and address the external debt of highly indebted poor countries to reduce debt distress

    Debt service as a proportion of exports of goods and services


    Adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for least developed countries


    Number of countries that adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for developing countries, including the least developed countries


    Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism


     Fixed Internet broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, by speed


    Promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed


    Total amount of funding for developing countries to promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies


    Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology

    Proportion of individuals using the Internet


    Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the Sustainable Development Goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation


    Dollar value of financial and technical assistance (including through North-South, South‑South and triangular cooperation) committed to developing countries


    Promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization, including through the conclusion of negotiations under its Doha Development Agenda

    Worldwide weighted tariff-average


    Significantly increase the exports of developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the least developed countries’ share of global exports by 2020


    Developing countries’ and least developed countries’ share of global exports


    Realize timely implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access on a lasting basis for all least developed countries, consistent with World Trade Organization decisions, including by ensuring that preferential rules of origin applicable to imports from least developed countries are transparent and simple, and contribute to facilitating market access


    Weighted average tariffs faced by developing countries, least developed countries and small island developing States


    Enhance global macroeconomic stability, including through policy coordination and policy coherence

    Macroeconomic Dashboard


    Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development

    Number of countries with mechanisms in place to enhance policy coherence of sustainable development


    Respect each country’s policy space and leadership to establish and implement policies for poverty eradication and sustainable development 

    Extent of use of country-owned results frameworks and planning tools by providers of development cooperation


    Enhance the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in all countries, in particular developing countries


    Number of countries reporting progress in multi-stakeholder development effectiveness monitoring frameworks that support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals


    Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships 


    Amount in United States dollars committed to public-private partnerships for infrastructure


    By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts


    Statistical capacity indicator for Sustainable Development Goal monitoring

    Number of countries that have national statistical legislation that complies with the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics

    Number of countries with a national statistical plan that is fully funded and under implementation, by source of funding


    By 2030, build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries

    Dollar value of all resources made available to strengthen statistical capacity in developing countries

    Proportion of countries that (a) have conducted at least one population and housing census in the last 10 years; and (b) have achieved 100 per cent birth registration and 80 per cent death registration

    Name Description
    StepbyWater European Conference
    Discussion spaces, Think Tank format
    Working groups (Future vision, i-Action and Emerging challenges among others)
    Editorial action and awareness-raising and outreach campaign
    Financing (in USD)
    The project is financed by Aqualia and the other companies participating in this alliance.
    Staff / Technical expertise
    Members of the staff of the allied companies participate in the development of the actions and activities for the achievement of the objectives.
    No progress reports have been submitted. Please sign in and click here to submit one.
    Action Network
    water logo
    25 June 2020 (start date)
    31 December 2028 (date of completion)
    1. Global
    Other beneficiaries

    Institutions, third sector organisations, companies from all fields and civil society, all allied around a common purpose: to lead a cultural revolution that will help to avoid a water crisis and contribute to lay the foundations for sustainable development, as the cornerstone of a future that will be sustainable, or maybe not.

    More information
    Czech Republic
    Czech Republic
    Saudi Arabia
    Saudi Arabia
    United Arab Emirates
    United Arab Emirates
    United States of America
    United States of America
    Contact Information

    Yolanda, Head of communication and csr department