Governments and partners must dramatically increase political commitment to drinking water and quadruple investments
Governments must invest strategically in building safe drinking water systems by not only increasing funding, but also strengthening capacities to plan, coordinate, and regulate service provision, if the world is to achieve universal access to safe drinking water and mitigate the effects of climate change, say World Health Organisation, UNICEF, and the World Bank in a report released on 25 October.
The report provides a comprehensive review of the links between water, health, and development, with actionable recommendations for governments and partners, illustrated by examples of how countries are contributing to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of reaching safely managed drinking water for all by 2030.
Overarching recommendations include strengthening existing institutions by filling gaps, facilitating coordination, establishing a regulatory environment supported by legislation and standards for service quality, and ensuring enforcement; increase funding from all sources dramatically, with water service providers improving efficiency and performance, and governments providing a stable and transparent administrative, regulatory and policy environment.
The report also emphasises on building capacity within the water sector by developing a capable and motivated workforce through a range of capacity-development approaches based on innovation and collaboration; ensuring that relevant data and information are available to better understand inequalities in drinking water services and make evidence-based decisions; and encouraging innovation and experimentation through supportive government policy and regulation, accompanied by rigorous monitoring and evaluation.