22 March 2017

ICLEI calls on local and regional governments to achieve access to water and sanitation for all

On the occasion of World Water Day 2017, ICLEI, UCLG, GWOPA and the World Water Council have released a statement declaring that "the responsibility for Sustainable Development Goal 6 on access to water and sanitation for all falls principally to local authorities and cannot be achieved without good local governance, the sustainable management of natural resources and effective urbanisation."

"Effective local-level water management is critical to the achievement of many of the important global agendas that have been adopted by the international community, together with local and regional governments and their associations, over the past two years," continues the statement, referencing the Sustainable Development Goals, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the New Urban Agenda.

To achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6, it is recommended that local and regional governments apply the principles of good governance, link water and waste water management, use a fair tariff system to regulate water demand, and manage water at local and regional level by keeping needs and multiple uses in the wider catchment in mind. Local governments are further encouraged to create widespread public awareness about the value of water including so-called ‘waste’ water, in order to treat it as a precious and limited resource.

Politicians must also accept that long-term investments in water may yield benefits only after local elective mandates. The statement ends by praising the work done so far: "On the occasion of World Water Day, we would like to recognise the efforts that have been made by local and regional governments around the world, particularly in small municipalities, to ensure their communities get access to sanitation services. We congratulate them and encourage them to continue their work and efforts."

For more information, read the full joint statement, available in English, French, and Spanish.