Two main targets of SDG 6 (Sustainable Development Goal) are to achieve universal and equitable access to improved sanitation and to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater by 2030. We compiled a global sanitation database for 200 countries for trends from 1970 till 2015 and we constructed future scenarios for sanitation and wastewater treatment and to evaluate SDG 6. These scenarios showed that the SDG targets will not be met in 2030, but depending on the scenario many decades later.
The sanitation scenarios differ due to contrasting pathways for population growth and urbanization, economic growth and storylines. Our results show that unimproved sanitation will not disappear on a short time and wastewater treatment will be on a low level in most regions.
It will be difficult to achieve the SDG 6 targets. Target 6.2 on improved sanitation is expected to be achieved between 2070 and 2090 in high income scenarios while the target will not be achieved by 2100 in low income scenarios. Target SDG 6.3 on improving wastewater treatment will be reached between 2030 and 2050 in high income scenarios while in low income scenarios it will not be reached by 2100.
There is a major contrast between countries and regions. Many low income countries with high population growth did not improve their sanitation and wastewater treatment in the period 2000 -2015. This inequality is particularly important in low income scenarios where the lack of improved sanitation will continue till 2100.
- Publication title
- Quantifying future sanitation scenarios and progress towards SDG targets in the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways
- Publication date
- 30 August 2023
- Publication type
- Page count
- Publication language
- Journal of Environmental Management
- 346 (2023) 118921
- Product number