The Millennium Development Goals, adopted at the UN Millennium Summit in 2000, are the world's targets for dramatically reducing extreme poverty in its many dimensions by 2015 income poverty, hunger, disease, exclusion, lack of infrastructure and shelter while promoting gender equality, education, health and environmental sustainability. These bold goals can be met in all parts of the world if nations follow through on their commitments to work together to meet them. Achieving the Millennium Development Goals offers the prospect of a more secure, just, and prosperous world for all. The UN Millennium Project was commissioned by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to develop a practical plan of action to meet the Millennium Development Goals. As an independent advisory body directed by Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, the UN Millennium Project submitted its recommendations to the UN Secretary General in January 2005. The core of the UN Millennium Project's work has been carried out by 10 thematic Task Forces comprising more than 250 experts from around the world, including scientists, development practitioners, parliamentarians, policymakers, and representatives from civil society, UN agencies, the World Bank, the IMF, and the private sector. In this report the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Water and Sanitation outlines the bold yet practical actions that are needed to increase access to water and sanitation. The report underscores the need to focus on the global sanitation crisis, which contributes to the death of 3900 children each day, improve domestic water supply, and invest in integrated development and management of water resources, all of which are necessary for countries to reduce poverty and hunger, improve health, advance gender equality and ensure environmental sustainability. Implementing the recommendations of this report will allow all countries to halve the proportion of people without access to safe water and sanitation by 2015.
Executive summary * Water is life * The historical context * The institutional context * The focus of this report * Part I: The Millennium Development target for domestic water supply and sanitation * Why focus on water supply and sanitation? * Human values and human rights * Contribution to the Millennium Development Goals * Target 10 and the global monitoring system * Target 10 on water and sanitation * The current system for monitoring and evaluation * Where are the needs greatest? * Access to domestic water supply and sanitation services * Current levels of access and the rate of progress toward the goal * Low access to services and high incidence of water-related disease * Identifying greatest needs globally * Pinpointing greatest needs within countries * What's holding us back? * Political constraints * Institutional constraints * Financial constraints * Technical challenges * The special challenge of meeting the sanitation target * A collective or an individual service? * The nature of demand for improved sanitation * Reorienting public institutions for sanitation service delivery * Changing roles for government * New technologies or better use of existing technologies? * Alternative planning approaches for urban sanitation * Alternative planning approaches for rural sanitation * Galvanizing support for sanitation and hygiene * Technology and infrastructure * Available technological options * Cost-reduction strategies * The need for innovation * What would it cost? * Global estimates * National estimates: a method to assess needs * Grappling with financing for the poorest * Principal target group: poor people in the poorest countries * Financial constraints in low-income countries * Affordability, sustainability, and water conservation * What about middle-income countries? * Part II: Water resources for all the Millennium Development Goals * Why does water resources development and management matter? * Poverty and hunger * Environmental sustainability * Health * Gender equality * Exploiting potential synergies through combined approaches * What actions are needed? * Investing in water resources development and management * Adopting integrated water resources management * Examples of context-specific actions * Monitoring and support systems * Monitoring water resources * Global institutional support structures * Recommendations for the international community * Part III: Achieving the Millennium Development Goals * How to make the Goals a reality * A call to action 1* Ten critical actions * An operational plan * Appendices *