UN-Water, UNEP Report Details Progress on IWRM Implementation
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The "global baseline" report for SDG indicator 6.5.1 finds that, without accelerating progress, 60% of countries are unlikely to achieve SDG target 6.5 on implementing integrated water resources management.

The report cites the challenges of developing a network of policies and laws that create an enabling environment, coordinating diverse players with different and often competing interests, generating data to make effective decisions, and securing the financing to implement plans.

The report underscores that IWRM is an ongoing process with incremental impacts, and each country can identify pathways to make progress, as no “one-size-fits-all” approach exists.

26 August 2018: UN-Water and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) have published a report detailing progress made on implementation of integrated water resources management (IWRM), as measured by SDG indicator 6.5.1 (degree of IWRM implementation). Launched at World Water Week 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden, the report finds that IWRM provides a critical framework for achieving SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), as well as all other SDGs.

The report, serving as a “global baseline” for the indicator, presents a snapshot of the current state of affairs on water management, and emphasizes the need to accelerate progress. The report is the result of a participatory approach in which representatives from different sectors and regions responded to a questionnaire. It describes the efforts of 172 countries to implement IWRM, including successes and challenges, as well as coordination and collaboration beyond monitoring. According to the report, IWRM provides multiple benefits, including sustainable and efficient agriculture, economic stability, ecosystem protection, and peace and security. However, the publication concludes, without accelerating progress, 60% of countries are unlikely to achieve SDG target 6.5 on implementing IWRM at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation, by 2030.

As 80% of countries have already laid the foundations for IWRM, the report calls for focusing on implementation, accelerating its implementation, and taking collective action that builds on multi-stakeholder monitoring and reporting processes to accelerate implementation.

The report cites the challenges of developing a network of policies and laws that create an enabling environment, coordinating diverse players with different and often competing interests, generating data to make effective decisions, and securing the financing to implement plans. It highlights that while subnational, basin, aquifer and local levels tend to lag behind national-level implementation, multi-level coordination is critical, and many countries have arrangements and organizational frameworks for cooperation in most of their transboundary basins and aquifers.

The UN-Water Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6 supports countries’ efforts to monitor water and sanitation across sectors, compile data to report on global progress and achieve SDG 6.

Regarding wider implementation across sectors, the report calls for: adopting integrated approaches to water supply and wastewater treatment measures; identifying opportunities to integrate water into sectoral programmes and planning processes; and finding and adopting innovative, blended and multi-sector financing approaches to achieve sustainable water resources management under the 2030 Agenda. The report underscores that IWRM is an ongoing process with incremental impacts, and each country can identify pathways to make progress, as no “one-size-fits-all” approach exists for IWRM implementation.

The publication provides an overview of areas requiring action to advance sustainable management of water resources as identified by countries, including improving basin and aquifer management, financial arrangements and capacity development. The report also mentions specific actions highlighted by countries, including increasing monitoring stations, improving enforcement mechanisms and increasing cost recovery for water-related services.

Reporting from countries on SDG 6 core indicators provides a platform for dialogue on strengthening water resources management across sectors and stakeholders, and on identifying specific needs for capacity development, technology transfer and investments.

The report is one in a seven-report series launched by UN-Water that tracks progress towards SDG 6 targets using the SDG global indicators under the UN-Water Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6, which brings together the: World Health Organization (WHO)/UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP); Integrated Monitoring of Water and Sanitation-Related SDG Targets (GEMI); and UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS). The collaboration supports countries’ efforts to monitor water and sanitation across sectors, compile data to report on global progress, and ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030. [Publication: Progress on Integrated Water Resources Management: Global Baseline for SDG 6 Indicator 6.5.1] [Report Landing Page] [SDG 6 Indicator Reports Webpage] [SDG 6 Monitoring Website] [All coverage of World Water Week 2018, including series of monitoring reports]


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