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Water is not only a declared human right, necessary for life and health, but is also a key input into the global economy, powering manufacturing, turning energy turbines, and nourishing crops and livestock. With population growth the demand for water is accelerating and with climate change rainfall has become more erratic. Solutions to managing water variability and scarcity remain elusive, despite vast investments in infrastructure and generous funding for research (World Bank, 2017). 

The challenge lies in finding a way to use the world’s water more efficiently and make it available to all at a reasonable cost, while leaving sufficient quantities to sustain the environment. Green growth policies in the water sector can address issues of both quantity and quality by encouraging water-related innovation and investment in green infrastructure, and through integration with policies in other relevant sectors (World Water Council, 2012). 

Relevance to SDGs

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 addresses the sustainable management of water and includes the preservation of water-related ecosystems, including wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes.

Explore green growth resources relate to SDG 6:

SDG 6.2
   SDG 6.4
     use efficiency     
   SDG 6.5

Green Growth National Documents

National Water Agency for Brazil (ANA), Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, Secretariat of Water Resources and Environmental Quality Brasília
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM)


Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development
University of Oxford, Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC-Mistral), United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

Case Studies

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), ECODIT, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES), World Bank Group
Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES), World Bank Group, Laguna Lake Development Authority


Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)