UN Sustainable Development Goals

Without access to clean, healthy, and abundant water, the global community will not make tangible progress toward fulfillment of the SDGs.

Water is our most essential natural resource and is the fundamental underpinning for all aspects of life and a sustainable future.

Water supports all aspects of life on Earth. It is the fundamental underpinning for all of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

Without access to clean, healthy, and abundant water, the global community will not make tangible progress on water and sanitation, climate change, poverty, hunger, equality, peace, or any of the other laudable SDG goals. The UN Secretary General stated that we are “alarmingly off track on water-related SDGs, jeopardizing the entire sustainable development agenda.” In 2020, UN-Water released a SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework that aims to deliver fast results, at an increased scale, towards the goal of ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.

Waterkeeper Alliance advances its mission to protect everyone’s right to clean water and the UN SDGs – particularly SDG 6 and SDG 13 – through direct advocacy and by supporting and leveraging the collective knowledge, expertise, and experience of more than 300 Waterkeeper groups in 47 countries on six continents.

As change accelerators, Waterkeeper Alliance and members of its global movement proactively engage with the UN, UN-Water, rights-holders, and other stakeholders to strengthen international agreements; share valuable grassroots expertise and scientific knowledge; inform governments of community needs and impacts; and identify “on the ground” realities of policy decisions while advancing local action to create global impact.

Waterkeeper Alliance Actions:
UNEP Accreditation
Rivers for Climate Statement
UN Dam the UN – Petition to UNFCCC
Public Call to Action Toward a Global Plastics Treaty
UN-Water Action Agenda Voluntary Commitment
Declaration in Support of Protections for Natural Water Systems 

For the first time since 1977, the United Nations hosted a conference on water, the world’s most essential resource. Between March 22-24, 2023 world leaders from government, business, and civil society convened in New York City for a historic opportunity to help shape a more water-resilient future. The UN 2023 Water Conference brought all sectors of society together to accelerate action towards achieving SDG 6 and respond to the global water crisis exacerbated by climate change.

Waterkeeper Alliance and Waterkeeper groups from four continents participated in the conference to share knowledge, make connections, advance solutions, and engage with other global water leaders to help mobilize all sectors and create momentum for building a path towards sustainability.

Conference activities:
Side Panel Event Recording: “A New Era in Water Intelligence Driving Collective Action” 
UN Natural Water Systems Declaration
Blog: “Recapping the 2023 United Nations Water Conference”
Guest Blog: “A World Water Day Reflection”

Related Campaigns:
Clean Water Defense
Climate and Safe Energy
Pure Farms Pure Waters

Related Position Statements:
Environmental Justice
Fossil Fuels
Factory Farm Biogas
Hydropower (as clean and/or renewable energy)
Industrial Animal Agriculture
Water Scarcity