Advocating for more wastewater management
Industrial and agricultural pollution, city storm waters and human sewage create
acute health and pollution issues in an increasingly urban world. Rough estimates
suggest that 80-90 percent of wastewater in developing countries is discharged
directly into rivers, lakes and seas, causing water-borne diseases, hindering tourism
and economic development while severely damaging the environment.
Wastewater management and pollution prevention requires a cost effective
approach along with sustainable financing models. Part of the economic equation
must include pollution prevention which can enhance the productivity of industry
Treated water can be re-used and is a potential source of 'new' water thereby
reducing the demand of cities, farms, and industries for more drawdown on
the environment. After treatment, urban wastewater treated to an appropriate
standard can be reused for industry and peri-urban agriculture. Energy can be
captured from wastewater. All of these efforts create green jobs.
UNSGAB commits to:
The success of all these efforts depends on national action and
- Continue wastewater and pollution prevention advocacy in all possible
- Advocate for comprehensive national and local policies which encompass
all kinds of wastewater and can promote wastewater management and
- Encourage the development of national wastewater master plans,
including cost estimates and timeframes, and ensure the capital
investment plans are matched by external and internal funding sources to
achieve master plan objectives.
- Advocate for comprehensive national and local policies, which encompass
emission reduction, pollution prevention, and promote wastewater
management, including the development of supporting regulatory and
- Participate actively in international and national activities promoting
effective water reuse and wastewater treatment. In these fora, we will
- Welcome and participate in initiatives to promote global
collaboration, insisting on the inclusion of technology and expertise
providers on water re-use, wastewater treatment and pollution
- Connect major actors involved in financing wastewater treatment,
in particular regional development banks, experts in financing, the
International Water Association, industry associations, relevant labor
- Emphasize the need to curb agricultural pollution.
- Participate in and support efforts to create proper monitoring, indicator
creation, and reporting arrangements.
- Advocate for increased political prioritization of wastewater management
and pollution prevention in cooperation with partners such as the UN
Environment Programme (UNEP) and the African Ministers' Council on
- Encourage activities to gather evidence regarding wastewater treatment
benefits for job creation, IWRM, and basic sanitation actors.
- UN-Water increases its priority for wastewater management and pollution
prevention and increases corresponding activities including building global
- Friends of Water promote wastewater agenda so that the wastewater
challenge will be addressed together with water challenges in an
- UN-HABITAT expands the scope of GWOPA to encourage partnership
among wastewater management operators, with occasional reports to
UNSGAB on progress and achievements of the initiative.