Governance of water and waste: a key to sustainable development?

Convenor(s):
Stockholm International Water Institute
Co-convenor(s):
International Water Association; UNDP-SIWI Water Governance Facility; Water Integrity Network and World Water Council

Governance is a broad term that includes legislation and regulation, the institutional framework, and less tangible aspects such as integrity and anti-corruption and the roles of different stakeholders including women. Good governance of water and waste is important to a society’s development and to the achievement of the best possible outcomes for society and people. Trade-offs between different users and economic sectors, geographical scale, affordability to the customers and users of services, the urban or rural setting, and cross-border cooperation, all add complexity to governance of water and waste. The Sustainable Development Goals cover all of these topics with an overarching commitment in SDG 6.5 to implement integrated water resources management – itself a governance issue. Many countries are now reviewing and updating their policies to achieve the SDGs; this is a complex task in which national governments need support from international organisations, civil society, academia and the private sector.

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