Water Security: Key Element for Integration of Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Change Agenda

Water is one of the enablers for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement goals, especially on adaption. However, global water resources are under increasing pressure due to the growing gap between water supply and demand, wasteful use of water, anthropogenic water pollution, lack of integration in sectoral planning and climate change impacts on the hydrological cycle.

As essential to the goals of these two global agreements, water can be a useful connector to integrate implementation of the SDGs and the climate change agenda. For this purpose, water and climate change policy makers need to work closely to better understand climate change impacts on water resources and to make sure that country adaptation action plans incorporate water sector development priorities.

A great amount of knowledge on both water quantity and quality management has already been generated and is available for informing policy actions. A challenge is to translate this knowledge into action. An enabling environment needs to be created for the translation of useful knowledge to country actions that supports knowledge sharing and capacity building, the strengthening of regulations, the integration of sectoral priorities and the mobilisation of all possible financial resources.