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Task Force on Wastewater Management

Wastewater management was recognized as an issue that had been largely ignored by the international community. The United Nations Secretary General Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) and UN-Water considered Rio+20 as a critical opportunity to put wastewater on the international political agenda and made various efforts to influence the international negotiations toward Rio+20.


The need for a global vision on wastewater management was confirmed in the Rio +20 Summit. Its official outcome document “The Future We Want” contains the following paragraph on wastewater:


124. We stress the need to adopt measures to significantly reduce water pollution and increase water quality, significantly improve wastewater treatment and water efficiency and reduce water losses. In order to achieve this, we stress the need for international assistance and cooperation.  In another paragraph, “reuse of treated wastewater” is also highlighted as a valuable option to better address the needs of rural communities.


Building and sharing a global vision on wastewater is necessary to improve the effectiveness of national policies and avoid riparian countries adopting inconsistent measures. Rio+20 has hence paved the way towards a more ambitious objective including the adoption of a common “target” in the context of the future Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


  • Contribute to building a shared vision on wastewater management at the global level
  • Propose a strategy for UN-Water to advocate efficiently on improving wastewater management worldwide
  • Propose options for a potential target on wastewater management within a future SDG on Water


The Task Force has focused on contributing to the development of a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on water by including considerations related to wastewater and water quality.


Coordination Organizations and Contacts

Vincent Sweeney
Coordinator, Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land Based Activities  UNEP

Jose Luis Martin Bordes
Programme Officer
Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance


Last update:07 Oct 2014