United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

France, Germany and Switzerland

Proposal for statement by France, Germany and Switzerland
Focus area 6. Water and sanitation
Mr Co-chair,
We welcome the broad support for an SDG on water and sanitation and are convinced that the issue of water should be addressed as a Sustainable Development Goal. This would also ensure the realization of the human right to water and sanitation for all.
We suggest therefore translating Focus Area 6 into a SDG on water, titled “a water-secure world for all.”
We feel that the targets proposed under Focus Area 6 include the most important elements which should be included in a SDG on water and sanitation. However, we see an opportunity to streamline and focus on 6 targets which complement and support each other. These targets focus on the most urgent water and sanitation issues and at the same time contribute greatly to the achievement of the goals on health, food security, gender equality and energy.
We therefore suggest the following 6 targets, based on the Co-chairs’ document:
- (1) By 2030, provide universal sustainable access to a basic level of safe and affordable drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, especially for women and girls, while progressively reducing inequalities in service levels. This differentiation allows for the operationalization of the progressive realization of the right to water and sanitation.
- (2) By 2030, significantly improve water quality: increase treatment, recycling and reuse of wastewater by x%, prevent and combat pollution and eliminate dumping of hazardous substances. This formulation combines target b) and f) in a comprehensive target on water quality, supporting also the achievements of sustainable production and consumption patterns.
- (3) By 2030, improve water-use efficiency by x% in all sectors, with particular focus on agriculture, industrial and energy production, and double harvested rainwater. This proposition merges the targets under c) and g) which are both related to water quantity issues. This target would allow focusing on both water demand and water supply and it would support the achievement of the goals on food security and energy.
- (4) By 2025, implement integrated water resources management at basin level, including appropriate trans-boundary co-operation. Here we consider key to include reference to trans-boundary cooperation. Many delegations, like ours, have underlined at the last OWG the crucial importance of cooperation. But we also know that some delegations have concerns. We believe that we must use this opportunity to find a solution, a useful breakthrough on this important topic. We are very keen in cooperating with interested countries in finding an appropriate solution.
- (5) By 2030, bring fresh water extraction in line with sustainably available water resources respecting ecosystem requirements, and by 2020 protect and restore ecosystems to provide water-related services. This target is important to address over abstraction, to complement the target on efficiency and to ensure explicitly the needs and services of ecosystems, in line with Aichi target 14.
- (6) Prevent and reduce the impacts of water-related disasters, especially those likely to arise from climate change: decrease by x% mortality and serious injuries, and decrease by y% economic losses caused by water-related disasters, by 2030.