Water sanitation hygiene

Monitoring wastewater

Truck emptying faecal sludge
WHO/K. Medlicott

SDG target 6.3 calls for improving ambient water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.

The indicators used to measure progress are the percentage of wastewater safely treated and percentage of water bodies with good water quality. Wastewater treatment covers wastewater and faecal sludge from both onsite and offsite sanitation facilities. Monitoring of wastewater from households will be monitored with monitoring of the safely managed sanitation indicator under Target 6.2 that also includes containment, emptying, transport and treatment of wastewater and faecal sludge. Wastewater from economic activities is monitored by UN-Habitat and ambient water quality by UNEP GEMS-Water initiative.

WHO and UN-HABITAT (in coordination with UNSD) are currently producing a baseline estimate for the SDG indicator on wastewater treatment (target 6.3). Information on wastewater treatment is included in the JMP ‘data drive’ for target 6.1 and 6.2 that is currently open to collect information that could be used for global baseline reporting purposes.

Further information

See also