Providing environmental infrastructure for human settlements

Integrating services for human settlements
Investing in water supply, waste collection and treatment facilities
Ensuring the investment in and provision of municipal waste collection facilities, with the concomitant provision of water services and with an equal and parallel investment in and provision of waste treatment facilities.
This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Agenda 21 recommends promoting the integrated provision of water, sanitation, drainage and solid waste management.

Much effort has been directed towards supplying sanitation facilities in urban areas. On an average day during the [International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade] (1981-1990), 330,000 people in developing countries gained access to safe water and 210,000 achieved better sanitation facilities -- more than double the rate of provision in the 1970s. These are impressive figures, except for the increase in urban population of developing countries which was about 200,000 per day. At the end of the Decade, about one in five urban residents in developing countries were still without adequate water supplies and about one third of all city residents still lacked adequate sanitation facilities.

The theme for World Water Day in 1996, [Water for Thirsty Cities], emphasized the growing water crisis faced by cities across the world, one which threatens the sustainability of social and economic development. Five key issues were highlighted. (1) [Water is for all] for the city of the poor and for the city of the rich; for health and for economic development. There is a need to balance the competing demands and address the needs of all, particularly the urban poor who are the most vulnerable. (2) [What cost a bucket of water?] As cities expand and their demand increases, water has to come from ever more distant fresh water sources. There is a need for cities to address how to meet the soaring cost of water. (3) [Stop wastage of water] Nearly half the water supplied to cities is lost because of leakage and wastage, often the result of neglect and profligacy. Reducing this wastage could free up enough water to reach those without adequate access. (4) [Building partnerships for water] can mobilize the vast, and largely untapped, resources of communities, NGOs and the private sector in all areas of urban water management, enhancing efficiency and accountability of the supply, use and protection of water. (5) [Saving water for the future] is not striving for a distant and uncertain goal; the current trends of depletion, pollution and degradation of urban water resources have reached alarming proportions and would affect sustainable supplies within the foreseeable future if they are not reversed.
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 15: Life on Land