SDG 06: Clean Water and Sanitation

Innovative sewage solutions: Tackling the global human waste problem

The Wider Image: Seen from the sky: polluted waters around the world.

Sewage contaminates ocean water. Image: REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Sean Mowbray
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how SDG 06: Clean Water and Sanitation is affecting economies, industries and global issues
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SDG 06: Clean Water and Sanitation

Untreated wastewater enters the ocean in Roatan, Honduras.
Wastewater pollutes the ocean. Image: Antonio Busiello/Coral Reef Alliance.

A coral reef in Komodo, Indonesia.
Protecting human health and ecosystems, including coral reefs and seagrass meadows. Image: Beth Watson/Ocean Image Bank
A staff member at the Polos Water Treatment Plant in Half Moon Bay in Roatan, Honduras.
Pollution was significantly reduced there, resulting in benefits for locals and coral reefs. Image: Antonio Busiello/Coral Reef Alliance.

U.S. annual precipitation compared to 20th century average.
normal annual U.S. precipitation as a percent of the 20th-century average for each U.S. Climate Normals period from 1901-1930 to 1991-2020. Image: NOAA and NCEI
Gorla Maggiore Water Park, Italy.
This 6-hectare (15-acre) treatment wetland was constructed in 2014 on the site of an abandoned poplar plantation. Image: IRIDRA

Scandinavian Green Roof Inst. Scandinavian Green Roof Inst.
Green roofs are another nature-based solution. Image: Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)
algae grown on a vertical conveyor belt are used to strip nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater, producing reusable fertilizer in the process.
The release of nitrogen and phosphorus via wastewater and sewage is contributing to pressure on coastal ecosystems. Image: Gross-Wen Technologies
The main retention pond at the entrance of Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park.
park was constructed to provide a green space, reduce pressure on the city’s sewage treatment system, and reduce flood risk. Image: Supanut Arunoprayote/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 4.0)
A remote boat developed by the INTCATCH project.
Equipped with onboard sensors, it can monitor water quality in real-time. Image: INTCATCH


What is the Forum doing to address the global water challenge?

Ongoing Park Habitat project in San Jose, California.
Diverting tens of thousands of pounds of methane-emitting organics from landfill. Image: Kengo Kuma and Associates/Westbank.

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