It is quite obvious that the water and wastewater sector contributes to the fulfillment of Sweden's work on the global sustainability goals, especially Goal 6, which is about safe access to water and sanitation for everyone. However, it is not equally clear what other goals the sector also contributes to, in what way this is done and what more the sector could do.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) came into force on 1 January 2016. These goals and Agenda 2030 are a common framework for decision-makers, researchers and users to set goals, plan and implement measures for development towards sustainability. The goals in principle collect all global challenges and encompass as much development of society and living conditions as the protection of our natural environment.
The water and wastewater sector works daily to provide water and wastewater management as a service to its municipal citizens. The The Swedish Water & Wastewater Association (SWWA), has established a system for municipal water and wastewater sector to measure the sustainability of this vital community service. The tool, called the Sustainability Index, provides the municipalities with the means to methodically analyze and improve their services. SWWA has allocated funds to RISE together with about 10 municipalities to map how the water and wastewater sector contribute to the SDGs and how they are linked to the national environmental goals and sustainability index. The study will be used as an inspirational material for those who work within the organization, but also for communication outside the organization, for example with other departments within the municipality and with politicians.
SDGs and the water and wastewater sector