Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

Water should be a distinct goal in the post-MDG framework

File 1820Last week I attended a consultation on water as part of the complex and wide ranging discussions that have been ongoing around the post 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) development framework. Through the diverse and high level discussions one promising message stood out – a call for water to be a distinct goal in any future framework.


The meeting, which was organised by the Swiss government, was part of the thematic consultation on water which is being coordinated by UN-Water, UNICEF and UN-DESA. The meeting was specifically looking at water resources management and wastewater management and water quality.

The first day was made up of three panels. The first discussed the relationship between water and a number of other themes (including on food, energy, urbanisation, transboundary, climate change, health, nature, peace and governance).  The following two panels fed back on some of the post 2015 development framework consultations that have taken place so far on WRM and on waste water management & water quality (WWM+WQ).  You can read the background and outcomes of the different water consultations on the websites and

I was really encouraged by the cross cutting nature of the discussions and how far the sector has progressed over the years. The meeting was very different from previous water meetings  in that there were so many concerns and interests around the table - ten years ago the water sector was talking about linking up with the health sector so the breadth of actors and interests involved in this water meeting, recognising the value and importance of water to all aspects of life is real  progress.

Drawing on the discussion from day one, six areas were identified for deeper discussions on day two: resilience (climate change and other global processes and adaptation), efficiency /reuse, cooperation (transboundary, shared water), Water Quality/ Pollution, allocation (balancing uses) and governance (framework, IWRM).


One really concrete statement was the resounding call that water should be a thematic priority in the post 2015 agenda. Only on the wish list at this stage, this would be an excellent move to really give the water sector the priority it deserves and to bring cross cutting issues relating to equitable and sustainable development to the forefront.

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