Joint statement on access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and freshwater ecosystem conservation
As the effects of climate change become more prevalent, the resilience and reliability of the world's freshwater is at risk. This September, the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be finalised and the outcome will determine how the world's governments approach two of our most critical challenges: access to safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene (WASH); and freshwater ecosystem conservation. The drivers of these economic risks are the same as those for the decline in freshwater species: poor management of the rivers, lakes and aquifers which supply our water. To survive and thrive, many communities depend on access to the services these wetlands, rivers, lakes and aquifers provide: clean drinking water, flood and drought control, water for agriculture, water purification, fisheries, and numerous other services. If freshwater systems are not well managed, their biodiversity declines and they cannot continue to provide these services (Introduction).