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Indicator 6.1.1 “Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services”

Target 6.1 seeks to achieve access for all to safe drinking water – this page explains why and how to monitor progress towards the target.

The indicator at a glance

Indicator 6.1.1 tracks the proportion of the population that is using an improved drinking water source, that is:

  • located on the premises;
  • available when needed;
  • free of faecal and priority chemical contamination.

Improved drinking water sources include piped water, boreholes or tubewells, protected dug wells, protected springs, rainwater, and packaged or delivered water.

Drinking water from an improved source that does not fulfil the above-mentioned criteria is categorized a “basic” service, provided that the collection time is not more than a 30-minute round trip, including queuing. If the improved drinking water source is located further away, the service is categorized as “limited”.

Household surveys and censuses (from the National Statistical Office) remain the primary source of information on the different types of facilities used by the population, complemented with information on service levels collected from administrative sources and regulators.

Available support 

The World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are the custodians of indicator 6.1.1. For any enquiries about available support, please contact their helpdesk.

Guidance on data collection and reporting

Online support

  • Helpdesk (email, phone, video conference).
  • Webinars held by Sanitation and Water for All partners and other networks of WASH professionals.

Face-to-face support

  • Support to governments and national stakeholders to identify data gaps, collect new and compile existing data, and analyse data to enable national and global reporting (through WHO and UNICEF regional and country offices).
  • Technical consultations with national statistics offices and ministries on updated estimates (through WHO and UNICEF regional and country offices).
  • Support national stakeholders to develop national and international targets to reduce inequalities in WASH services (through WHO and UNICEF regional and country offices).
  • Country visits to provide technical advice on national and global monitoring.
  • Regional workshops.
  • International meetings.

Data and progress reporting


Why monitor drinking water?

Data on access to safely managed drinking water services can help target efforts to the most vulnerable groups.