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Sustainable Development Goal 6

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Water scarcity threatens the future of civilization as we know it. Currently, more than 2 billion people live in countries experiencing high water scarcity, and 785 million people lack even basic drinking water service. By 2030, 700 million people worldwide could be displaced due to water shortages. The thirst of a growing population and increased water demand for agriculture and industry, coupled with more frequent droughts and floods due to climate change, makes the search for solutions more urgent than ever before.

WRI provides critical insights and timely data to help ensure a water-secure future (SDG 6.1). Through the Aqueduct platform, we advise and support governments and other stakeholders on water risks, water-use efficiency (SDG 6.4) and integrated water management programs (SDG 6.5). Researchers and technical experts from WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and WRI Forests and Climate Programs assist countries and cities in restoring and protecting wetlands (SDG 6.6) and in strengthening participation of local communities in water projects. In late 2019, new WRI research, Unaffordable and Undrinkable: Rethinking Urban Water Access in the Global South, revealed UNICEF/WHO indicators grossly overestimate water access in developing country cities. The research, which points the way towards solutions, is the sixth thematic paper of WRI’s flagship World Resources Report (WRR), Towards a More Equal City.


The Natural Infrastructure for Aquifer Recharge Financial Calculator, is an excel based tool with a flexible financial model that estimates the private costs and benefits, including the return on investment (ROI), of natural infrastructure interventions designed to enhance aquifer recharge. The technical note explains the methods, data and assumptions used to produce the tool.

blog post

Nicholas Walton gets on the phone with Raj Bhagat Palanichamy, an expert in cities and water for WRI India, to understand why Chennai ran out of water—and what can be done to prevent residents from going thirsty.

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