Progress on Level of Water Stress - Global baseline for SDG indicator 6.4.2 2018 - UN-Water
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Presenting the UN-Water Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6 Through the UN-Water Integrated Monitoring Initiative for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, the United Nations seeks to support countries in monitoring water- and sanitation-related issues within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in compiling country data to report on global progress towards SDG 6. The Initiative brings together the United Nations organizations The objectives of the Integrated Monitoring Initiative are to: that are formally mandated to compile country data on the SDG 6 global indicators, who organize their work within three • Develop methodologies and tools to monitor SDG 6 global complementary initiatives: indicators • WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water • Raise awareness at the national and global levels about SDG 6 Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP)1 monitoring Building on its 15 years of experience from Millennium • Enhance technical and institutional country capacity for Development Goals (MDG) monitoring, the JMP looks after monitoring the drinking water, sanitation and hygiene aspects of SDG 6 (targets 6.1 and 6.2). • Compile country data and report on global progress towards SDG 6 • Integrated Monitoring of Water and Sanitation-Related SDG Targets (GEMI)2 The joint effort around SDG 6 is especially important in terms of GEMI was established in 2014 to harmonize and expand the institutional aspects of monitoring, including the integration existing monitoring efforts focused on water, wastewater and of data collection and analysis across sectors, regions and ecosystem resources (targets 6.3 to 6.6). administrative levels. • UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation To learn more about water and sanitation in the 2030 Agenda for and Drinking-Water (GLAAS)3 Sustainable Development, and the Integrated Monitoring Initiative The means of implementing SDG 6 (targets 6.a and 6.b) fall for SDG 6, visit our website: www.sdg6monitoring.org under the remit of GLAAS, which monitors the inputs and the enabling environment required to sustain and develop water and sanitation systems and services. 1 http://www.sdg6monitoring.org/about/components/jmp/ 2 http://www.sdg6monitoring.org/about/components/presenting-gemi/ 3 http://www.sdg6monitoring.org/about/components/glaas/
CONTENTS Foreword 6 by Gilbert F. Houngbo, UN-Water Chair and President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development Foreword 7 by René Castro-Salazar, Assistant Director-General Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Department and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Acknowledgements 9 Executive summary 10 Key messages and recommendations 13 1. Introduction and background 14 2. Method and process 18 2.1. Methodology 19 2.1.1. About the methodology developed by GEMI 19 2.1.2. Applying and testing the methodology in the five pilot countries 23 2.1.3. The monitoring ladder 24 2.2. Stakeholders and sources of data 25 2.2.1. Stakeholders involved 25 2.2.2. Sources of data by variable type 26 2.3. Data-collection process 30 2.3.1. Approach 30 2.3.2. Use of international data sources 30 2.3.3. Challenges and opportunities 31
Elijah Yoursee, a farmer in Paynesville, Liberia, waters a rice field. Photo: Albert Gonzalez Farran/UNMIL 3. Results and analysis 33 3.1. Global and regional estimates for indicator 6.4.2 34 3.2. Considerations about data availability at the global level 38 4. Conclusions 40 References 44 Annex 1. Country data for the water stress indicator 45 Annex 2. Countries in regions 51 Annex 3. International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC), Rev.4 54 Learn more about progress towards SDG 6 55
6 FOREWORD Water is the lifeblood of ecosystems, vital to human health and well-being and a precondition for economic prosperity. That is why it is at the very core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, has strong links to all of the other SDGs. In this series of progress reports under the UN-Water Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6, we evaluate progress towards this vital goal. The United Nations organizations are working together to help countries monitor water and sanitation across sectors and compile data so that we can report on global progress. SDG 6 expands the Millennium Development Goal focus on drinking water and basic sanitation to include the management of water and wastewater and ecosystems, across boundaries of all kinds. Bringing these aspects together is an essential first step towards breaking down sector fragmentation and enabling coherent and sustainable management, and hence towards a future where water use is sustainable. This report is part of a series that track progress towards the various targets set out in SDG 6 using the SDG global indicators. The reports are based on country data, compiled and verified by the responsible United Nations organizations, and sometimes complemented by data from other sources. The main beneficiaries of better data are countries. The 2030 Agenda specifies that global follow-up and review “will be primarily based on national official data sources”, so we sorely need stronger national statistical systems. This will involve developing technical and institutional capacity and infrastructure for more effective monitoring. To review overall progress towards SDG 6 and identify interlinkages and ways to accelerate progress, UN-Water produced the SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018 on Water and Sanitation. It concluded that the world is not on track to achieve SDG 6 by 2030. This finding was discussed by Member States during the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in July 2018. Delegates sounded the alarm about declining official development aid to the water sector and stressed the need for finance, high-level political support, leadership and enhanced collaboration within and across countries if SDG 6 and its targets are to be met. To achieve SDG 6, we need to monitor and report progress. This will help decision makers identify and prioritize what, when and where interventions are needed to improve implementation. Information on progress is also essential to ensure accountability and generate political, public and private sector support for investment. The UN-Water Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6 is an essential element of the United Nations’ determination to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030. Gilbert F. Houngbo UN-Water Chair and President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development
7 FOREWORD It is my pleasure to present this report, which sets the baseline for monitoring indicator 6.4.2 – Level of water stress – in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) global report. Since few countries have the natural and financial resources to continue increasing water supplies as demand increases, better, more efficient and more productive use of water resources is essential for our future and the future of the planet. This report addresses the importance of reducing water stress, which is a measure of the pressure that human activities exert on natural freshwater resources, providing an indication of the environmental sustainability of the use of water resources. Water stress is defined as the proportion of water withdrawal by all sectors in relation to the available water resources. The global average for this proportion is 13 per cent. Water stress affects every continent, hinders sustainability and limits social and economic development. More than 2 billion people live in countries experiencing high water stress. Although the global average water stress is only 13 per cent, 32 countries experience water stress between 25 per cent (when stress begins) and 70 per cent, and 22 countries are above 70 per cent and considered seriously stressed. While agriculture remains by far the largest water user, accounting for nearly 70 per cent of all water withdrawals globally, its share in the overall sectoral distribution is decreasing. This indicates that other uses are growing and that sustainability in the use and management of water resources requires a collective and coordinated effort among all the actors involved. Alternative water sources such as wastewater, storm run-off and desalination, as well as measures such as water harvesting, can help relieve water stress. Safe wastewater reuse and recycling is a significantly untapped resource for industry and agriculture, but its use must overcome political and cultural barriers. One of the key premises of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is “leaving no one behind”. To achieve this, the interlinkages between its 17 SDGs need to be well understood and appropriate actions undertaken for the benefit of all, including addressing socioeconomic and gender inequalities. Within this framework, SDG target 6.4 is particularly relevant as it focuses on ensuring that water resources are sufficient for all users, and that such availability is the outcome of a deliberate management of these resources. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in coordination with other United Nations agencies through UN-Water, supports countries in implementing this target, through direct actions in the agricultural and environmental fields and by supporting the assessment of progress towards achieving it. To this end, FAO has joined the Integrated Monitoring Initiative, which has gathered experiences and resources aimed at ensuring a coherent monitoring framework for water and sanitation by 2030. Such a framework will help countries achieve progress through well-informed decision- making on water, based on harmonized, comprehensive, timely and accurate information.
More data, enabling a disaggregated analysis of the pattern of water use at the basin level, will be needed to provide better insights for decision makers, both at the global and the country level. FAO, predominantly through its AQUASTAT database, remains committed to improving the quality and quantity of data produced and analysed, in close partnership with the relevant authorities of our Member States. This report is an important step towards a more widespread and operational knowledge of the status of water resources and the sustainability of their use. René Castro-Salazar Assistant Director-General Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Department Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
9 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This report was prepared by Alba Martinez Salas, FAO Consultant, with the supervision of Riccardo Biancalani and the collabora- tion of Lucie Chocholata of the FAO Land and Water Division. The authors wish to acknowledge Paul Glennie (UN Environment) and Andrei Jouravlev (ECLAC) for their valuable comments on the draft report. They are also grateful for the valuable oversight, guidance and inputs to this report provided by other FAO staff, including Olcay Unver, Jippe Hoogeveen, Marlos De Souza and Dorian Kalamvrezos Navarro. The authors wish to recognize the work done in the five pilot countries (Jordan, the Netherlands, Peru, Senegal, Uganda) during the development of the technical methodology described in this report. Thanks are also extended to Virginie Gillet, FAO-AQUASTAT Consultant, and Ghaieth Ben Hamouda, FAO Consultant, for their contributions to the data processing. Financial support was provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), through the GEMI programme. This report was produced as part of a series of reports on SDG indicators 6.3.1, 6.3.2, 6.4.1, 6.4.2, 6.5.1, 6.5.2 and 6.6.1, coordi- nated by UN-Water through the GEMI programme. Suggested citation: FAO and UN-Water. 2018. Progress on level of water stress. Global baseline for SDG 6 Indicator 6.4.2: Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal as a proportion of available freshwater resources.
Progress on Level of Water Stress 10 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Access to safe water and sanitation and sound mana- ter taking into account environmental flow requirements gement of freshwater ecosystems are at the very core (EFR). It is calculated using the following formula: of sustainable development. This is the objective set by Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), which fur- TFWW ther enhances Millennium Development Goal 7 (MDG 7) Water stress (%) = * 100 TRWR - EFR by including water management approaches and ele- ments, such as integrated water resources manage- ment, wastewater treatment, water-use efficiency, envi- The MDG framework already had a water stress ronmental flows requirement, international cooperation, indicator related to target 7.A, defined as “propor- capacity-building and stakeholder participation. tion of total water resources used”. Although the MDGs were only defined in 1999, these parameters Target 6.4 of SDG 6 addresses water-use efficiency were being monitored by the Food and Agriculture Or- and water stress, pursuing the following: “By 2030, ganization of the United Nations (FAO) through its glo- substantially increase water-use efficiency across all bal water information system, AQUASTAT, since 1994. sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and sup- The definition for SDG indicator 6.4.2 is relatively simi- ply of freshwater to address water scarcity and subs- lar to that of the MDG indicator with the exception that tantially reduce the number of people suffering from it explicitly takes into consideration EFR. water scarcity”. The following two indicators were for- mulated under this target: As an extension of the MDG indicator, countries were already familiar with the SDG indicator methodology 6.4.1 Change in water-use efficiency over time and data were mostly accessible and updated from country institutions. Information was also available 6.4.2 Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal as from AQUASTAT, although not for EFR. The main a proportion of available freshwater resources difficulties when applying this methodology there- fore arose when estimating this last variable. None of For each indicator, monitoring methodologies and other the countries had undertaken specific studies on EFR support tools were developed and tested in five pilot data except for Uganda, which had some figures from countries – Jordan, the Netherlands, Peru, Senegal and the Environmental Flow Manual prepared for the Nile Uganda. These were chosen based on the countries’ Basin Initiative project. In the case of Jordan, the es- expressions of interest and to ensure a good represen- timation was made based on the water pumped to tation of global regions. preserve the Azraq oasis. Peru and Senegal used the International Water Management Institute’s (IWMI) es- This report describes the methodology testing pro- timations at the national level from its Global Assess- cess for indicator 6.4.2 in the five pilot countries ment of Environmental Flows and Scarcity. The Nether- (section 2) and presents the global baseline (2015–2018) lands considered different international models for the for this indicator (section 3). estimation of environmental flows. To implement and test the methodology, all pilot coun- Methodology testing tries established working groups with relevant stakehol- ders to gather the required expert knowledge. A natio- nal institution was identified to lead the groups in the Indicator 6.4.2 has been defined as the ratio between process of compiling the indicator data. It was tasked total freshwater withdrawn (TFWW) by all major sectors with coordinating the review of all national, subnational and total renewable freshwater resources (TRWR), af- and basin unit sources of relevant data, such as maps,
11 reports, yearbooks and articles. The data-collection always in the format, quality, quantity and fre- exercise focused on the most recent data, without ex- quency required. In other cases, certain parame- cluding any potential sources of information. Partial ters were being poorly monitored, or not at all. data (with respect to time or area), such as data pro- duced by local projects, were also collected. Meetings • Poor or non-existent coordination at the country with all the institutions involved took place throughout level. There is a need to strengthen countries’ ca- 2016 to track progress, share findings and validate the pacity and mobilize resources to implement the results obtained. methodology, and to improve cooperation, coor- dination and sharing of responsibilities and infor- For each SDG indicator, a United Nations organiza- mation among the institutions involved in moni- tion was designated to coordinate activities and act as toring the indicator. custodian. In the case of indicator 6.4.2, FAO was desi- gnated to provide technical and/or logistical support to • Reference years/periods. Although data were ge- the countries that requested it. nerally up to date, reference years or periods sometimes varied between variables and coun- Even though the data-collection process was feasible for tries. In this regard, it is essential to always spe- all pilot countries, certain problems were encountered cify the reference years used. that should be taken into account for future reference: • Outdated data. If up-to-date data are not avai- • Data inconsistency among various sources.The lable (from in-country or international sources), availability of different information sources for significant efforts should be made to provide the the same variable was sometimes problematic most accurate estimate possible. since figures could vary depending on the source consulted (due to years of reference conside- • Weak reporting from country institutions into red or other components taken into account). international databases. It was noted that inter- To address this challenge in future, the factors national databases such as AQUASTAT, which that caused the differences must be understood serve as repositories for data provided by coun- and the data harmonized, or the value with the tries, did not always have the latest figures avai- reference that best matches the definition stated lable. Countries should therefore endeavour to in the indicator’s methodology must be selec- share their most recent data with these interna- ted. It is also important to maintain the same data tional sources. source and estimation methodology over time. • Double counting. There was a potential risk • Lack of EFR data. None of the pilot coun- of counting a value more than once when com- tries had statistical data or had developed an in- puting freshwater withdrawals by the different country study to be able to draw their own figure sectors. for this variable. This seems to be the case for most countries in the world. However, free, on- The pilot exercise was an opportunity to further im- line data sets are available at the international le- prove data collection and estimations in each of the vel, such as the IWMI Global Assessment of Envi- countries and furthermore, to improve the way water ronmental Flows and Scarcity. As such, countries resources are managed. The necessary involvement can assess their own EFR based on the more de- of different agencies in the process helped strengthen tailed knowledge they have of their natural and institutional relations, build and consolidate networks social conditions. of professionals, which will help improve the monito- ring of the indicator and, most likely, other aspects of • Weak monitoring by country institutions. While water management in the country as well. data were generally available, they were not “Worldwide, 32 countries are experiencing water stress of between 25 and 70 per cent; 22 countries experience it above 70 per cent and are considered to be seriously stressed; in 15 countries, this figure rises to above 100 per cent, and of these, four have water stress above 1,000 per cent.”
Progress on Level of Water Stress 12 Global data The world’s average water stress stands at almost 13 per The FAO database, AQUASTAT, was used as the interna- cent, although evidently, there are significant differences tional source to obtain figures for countries all over the among world regions, a fact that a global assessment world. It can provide figures for two of the three main hides. For example, sub-Saharan Africa and South variables in the methodology – TRWR and TFWW – for America have a low level of water stress (about 3 per 180 countries. However, since AQUASTAT is a repo- cent), whereas in Northern Africa and Western Asia, sitory for data reported by countries, it does not pro- water stress is very high (72 per cent). Similarly, regional duce new figures. This means that without individual averages mask realities at the country level. For instance, country efforts, the data stored here are not updated, within the Northern Africa and Western Asia region, some and consequently cannot be used for monitoring. To countries in the Arabian Peninsula can reach water stress monitor the indicator over time, each country needs indicator values of over 1,000 per cent. to establish a national data-collection mechanism or strengthen its existing mechanism. Worldwide, 32 countries are experiencing water stress of between 25 and 70 per cent; 22 countries experience As for EFR, figures at the country level were taken it above 70 per cent and are considered to be seriously from the IWMI Water Data Portal. However, countries stressed; in 15 countries, this figure rises to above can assess their own EFR based on the more de- 100 per cent, and of these, four have water stress tailed knowledge they have of their natural and social above 1,000 per cent. In the latter four, the demand for conditions, taking into account factors such as the le- freshwater is largely being met through desalination. vel of development, population density, availability of non-conventional water sources, specific ecosystem needs and climatic conditions. Drought in Lake Hume, Australia. Photo: Tim J Keegan/Creative Commons
13 KEY MESSAGES AND RECOMMENDATIONS To date, the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustai- ment have been used, etc. The AQUASTAT question- nable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDG) has naire offers guidance on how to prepare this metadata. not defined a framework for data collection on global Moreover, FAO provides countries with a calculation indicators to provide guidance to Member States and sheet in order to keep consistency when compiling custodian agencies alike – the only clear indication the data. being that countries should retain ownership of their data and of the monitoring process in general. The The pilot phase has demonstrated that monitoring a IAEG-SDG is expected to agree on a standardized re- given indicator at the country level calls for the invol- porting framework during its next meeting, in autumn vement of various stakeholders and institutions. Coun- 2018. The establishment of such a framework will help tries should appoint a lead institution to coordinate significantly improve and rationalize the data-collec- these stakeholders – ideally, an institution involved in tion process for the SDG global indicators, clarifying the water sector or statistics at the national level. The the roles and responsibilities of both national institu- lead agency plays a critical role in the successful and tions and custodian agencies. timely monitoring of the indicator. It will ensure that all those involved have a clear understanding of their role For further implementation of the SDG indicator me- in the process, the actions to be implemented and the thodologies, specific national data should be col- support they can provide and receive within said role. lected to compute the indicator. To this end, coun- Custodian United Nations organizations should en- tries must take ownership of the process and be deavour to develop strong bonds with these lead ins- mindful of the importance of quality, timely and reliable titutions. disaggregated data and their accessibility in infor- ming decision-making. Custodian United Nations orga- There is a strong complementarity between the two nizations must endeavour to raise awareness of this indicators of target 6.4. While indicator 6.4.1 is an eco- point, as well as of the interlinkages with other SDG 6 nomic indicator, assessing to what extent economic indicators, and must support countries during this pro- growth relies on the utilization of water resources, indi- cess. Countries should have a good understanding of cator 6.4.2 is an environmental indicator, showing the the methodology and be aware of the issues to take physical availability of freshwater resources. By using into account when using the indicator’s formula. This these two sets of information together, decision ma- is also a task for custodian United Nations organiza- kers can gain an understanding of how growing wa- tions when explaining the methodology. In this regard, ter usage affects the availability of the water resources. FAO has prepared an online course on indicator 6.4.2 (including quizzes) to make sure the methodology is Data for indicator 6.4.2 should ideally be collected an- well communicated and can be easily applied by the nually and reported every two years. However, a repor- country teams. ting period of up to three years is also acceptable. To enable comparison, it is important that the data provided by countries be accompanied by the relevant metadata, to specify how the information has been obtained, which reference years and units of measure-
1 Introduction and background A mother gives her child a bowl of clean water in Charsardda District, in Pakistan. Photo: UN Photo/UNICEF/ZAK
15 In September 2015, Heads of State from all around the world adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, consisting of 17 Sustainable Develop- ment Goals (SDGs) with 169 targets. The 2030 Agenda includes a goal on water and sanitation (SDG 6) that sets out to “ensure availability and sustainable mana- gement of water and sanitation for all” (UNGA, 2015). Access to safe water and sanitation and sound ma- nagement of freshwater ecosystems are at the very core of sustainable development. Not only does SDG 6 have strong linkages with all the other SDGs, it is essential to achieving them. In other words, the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda will strongly depend on meeting SDG 6 (CBS, 2016). SDG 6 expands the focus of Millennium Development Goal 7 (MDG 7) on drinking water and sanitation to the entire water cycle, including the management of water, KEY FACTS wastewater and ecosystem resources (UNGA, 2015). It also addresses other aspects of water management such as international cooperation, capacity-building and stakeholder participation. This is reflected by the higher number of targets set – while MDG 7 had two water-related targets, SDG 6 includes eight (Box 1). Target 6.4 deals with water scarcity, aiming to ensure there is sufficient water for the population, the economy and the environment by increasing water-use efficiency across socioeconomic sectors. Two indicators were de- A high level of water stress can result veloped to track progress for this target: in negative effects on economic development and food security, 6.4.1 Change in water-use efficiency over time increasing competition and potential conflict among users. 6.4.2 Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal as a proportion of available freshwater resources Indicator 6.4.2 was formulated to ensure continuity with the For target 6.4, the MDG framework already had a MDG process, and for its intrinsic water stress indicator related to target 7.A, defined as importance in assessing a country’s “proportion of total water resources used”. Although freshwater resources. the MDGs were only defined in 1999, these parameters were being monitored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) through its global water information system, AQUASTAT, since 1994.
Progress on Level of Water Stress 16 BOX 1 Water-related targets for MDG 7 and SDG 6 MDG 7 SDG 6 (2000–2015) (2015–2030) 7.A Integrate the principles 6.1 By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and of sustainable development affordable drinking water for all. into country policies and programmes and reverse 6.2 By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable the loss of environmental sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying resources. special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations. 7.C Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without 6.3 By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, sustainable access to safe eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous drinking water and basic chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated sanitation. wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally. 6.4 By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity. 6.5 By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate. 6.6 By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes. 6.a By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity- building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies. 6.b Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management.
17 The definition for SDG indicator 6.4.2 is relatively si- (FAO), UN Environment, the United Nations Human milar to that of the MDG indicator with the exception Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the United Na- that it takes into consideration environmental flow re- tions Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the quirements (EFR) (see section 2.1.1). Indicator 6.4.2 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural was formulated to ensure continuity with the MDG Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Children’s process, and for its intrinsic importance in assessing a Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO) country’s freshwater resources. and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). A high level of water stress can result in negative ef- The first phase of GEMI implementation (2015–2018) fects on economic development and food security, has focused on developing monitoring methodologies increasing competition and potential conflict among and other support tools for the indicators related to users. This calls for effective supply and demand ma- the above-mentioned targets. This included a country nagement policies (linked to targets 6.3 and 6.5) and consultation exercise (proof of concept) in 2016 in five an increase in water-use efficiency. Securing EFR is pilot countries: Jordan, the Netherlands, Peru, Senegal also essential to maintaining ecosystem health and re- and Uganda. These were chosen based on countries’ silience (related to target 6.6 and SDG 15). expressions of interest and to ensure a good represen- tation of global regions (sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, As acknowledged by the United Nations General As- Latin America and the Caribbean and Northern Afri- sembly (UNGA, 2015), quality, accessible, timely and ca/the Middle East). Asia was originally represented reliable disaggregated data are needed to help mea- by Bangladesh, but there were significant delays in sure SDG progress and to ensure that no one is left the process due to the country’s complex institutional behind in the process. Access to reliable data is also environment. essential for well-informed decision-making. In addition, GEMI has also worked on establishing a To that end, UN-Water launched Integrated Monitoring global baseline for SDG targets 6.3 to 6.6. of Water and Sanitation Related SDG Targets, an in- ter-agency initiative known as GEMI. GEMI establishes This report describes the methodology testing pro- and manages a coherent monitoring framework for the cess for indicator 6.4.2 in the five pilot countries (sec- implementation of SDG targets 6.3 to 6.6.1 It was es- tion 2) and presents the global baseline (2015–2018) tablished in 2014 as a partnership between the Food for this indicator (section 3). and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 1 Targets 6.1 and 6.2 are covered by the Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP) developed by WHO and UNICEF.
Progress on Level of Water Stress 18 2 Method and process Children helping an old woman fill her containers with water from a community pump in Dobra Khira near Sanaa. Photo: UN Photo/Ian Steele
19 2.1. Methodology 2.1.1 About the methodology developed by GEMI Indicator 6.4.2 has been defined as the ratio between total freshwater withdrawn (TFWW) by all major sec- tors and total renewable freshwater resources (TRWR), after taking into account EFR. It is calculated using the following formula: TFWW Water stress (%) = * 100 TRWR - EFR KEY FACTS Where: TFWW = Total freshwater withdrawal (km3/year). This is usually calculated as the sum of withdrawal from renewable freshwater resources and from fossil groundwater for agriculture, in- dustries and services minus the direct use of non-conventional water as (treated) was- tewater, the direct use of agricultural drai- nage water and the use of desalinated wa- ter. Freshwater withdrawal for each sector is defined below: Data for indicator 6.4.2 should ideally be reported at the country level every Agricultural freshwater withdrawal is the an- two years. nual quantity of water withdrawn for irrigation, livestock (watering, sanitation, cleaning, etc.)2 and aquaculture purposes. It includes water The implementation of the pilot phase from over-abstraction of renewable ground- has demonstrated the importance water or withdrawal of fossil groundwa- of stakeholder engagement in the ter. This category refers to self-supplied agri- process. It is crucial that countries cultural activities not connected to the public take ownership and involve all the distribution network. If the water is provided by a public water supply network, it should be relevant institutions and agencies. included under the services water withdrawal category. This category corresponds to the In- ternational Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) Rev. 4 section A (Annex 3). 2 The subcategory of freshwater withdrawal for livestock does not include water withdrawal for irrigated fodder, meadows and pastures, which are included under water withdrawal for irrigation. It also does not include water withdrawal for the preparation of products derived from animals, which is included under industrial water withdrawal. If connected to the public water supply network, water withdrawal for livestock is included under services water withdrawal.
Progress on Level of Water Stress 20 Industrial freshwater withdrawal is the annual TRWR = Total renewable freshwater resources (km3/ quantity of water withdrawn for industrial uses. year). This is the sum of internal re- It includes water from over-abstraction of re- newable freshwater resources (those gene- newable groundwater or withdrawal of fossil rated from endogenous precipitation) and ex- groundwater. This category refers to self-sup- ternal renewable freshwater resources (flows plied industries not connected to the public entering the country, taking into consideration distribution network. If the water is provided the quantity of flows reserved to upstream by a public water supply network, it should be and downstream countries through agree- included under the services water withdrawal ments or treaties). category. This category also includes water used for cooling in thermo-electric plants; it EFR = Environmental flow requirements (km3/year). does not include hydropower, however, it is This refers to the quantity and timing of recommended that losses through evapora- freshwater flows required to sustain freshwa- tion from artificial lakes used for hydropower ter ecosystems and the human livelihoods and production be included here. This category well-being that depend on them. As evident corresponds to the ISIC Rev. 4 sections B, C, D in the description of the pilot countries’ pro- and F (Annex 3). cesses, methods to compute EFR are extre- mely varied and range from global estimates to Services freshwater withdrawal is the annual comprehensive assessments for river reaches. quantity of water withdrawn primarily for di- rect use by the population. It includes water Data for indicator 6.4.2 should ideally be reported from over-abstraction of renewable ground- at the country level every two years. However, a repor- water or withdrawal of fossil groundwater. It ting period of up to three years is also acceptable. is usually computed as the total water wit- hdrawn by the public distribution network. It If data are available at the subnational level, these should can include the part of the industry and agri- also be provided, especially for larger countries or coun- cultural sector connected to the municipal tries with marked climatic differences within their terri- distribution network. This category corres- tory. The most suitable units to be used for this exercise ponds to the ISIC Rev. 4 section E (Annex 3). are river basins, aggregated according to the circums- tances of each country. Table 1 summarizes what should (and should not) be included when calculating TFWW.
21 Table 1. Categories to include in total freshwater withdrawal (TFWW) surface freshwater renewable groundwater fossil groundwater direct use of non-conventional water (direct use of treated wastewater, direct use of agricultural drainage water, desalinated water) AGRICULTURAL FRESHWATER WITHDRAWAL – ISIC SECTION A Irrigation purposes Freshwater withdrawal Irrigated fodder for irrigation Irrigated meadows and pastures Livestock watering Sanitation Agricultural water Freshwater withdrawal withdrawal Cleaning of stables, etc. for livestock Irrigated fodder Irrigated meadows and pastures Freshwater withdrawal Aquaculture purposes for aquaculture Services water However, if the water is provided withdrawal by/connected to the public water (agricultural water supply network, it should be included withdrawal if data under the category of services water available) withdrawal, regardless of its use. Transformation of agricultural Industrial water products withdrawal
Progress on Level of Water Stress 22 INDUSTRIAL FRESHWATER WITHDRAWAL – ISIC SECTIONS B, C, D AND F Self-supplied industries not Industrial water connected to the public distribution withdrawal network Cooling of thermo-electric, Industrial water hydroelectric and nuclear power withdrawal plants Hydropower Not included Losses through evaporation from Industrial water artificial lakes used for hydropower withdrawal production However, if the water is provided Services water by/connected to the public withdrawal water supply network, it should (industrial water be included under the category withdrawal if data of services water withdrawal, available) regardless of its use. SERVICES3 FRESHWATER WITHDRAWAL – ISIC SECTIONS E, G–T Total water withdrawn by the Services water public distribution network withdrawal Agriculture and industries Services water connected to the municipal withdrawal distribution network 3 In AQUASTAT, services water withdrawal is reported as municipal water withdrawal.
23 BOX 2 Methodology development for indicator 6.4.2 The development of the methodology for this indicator evolved from the existing MDG indicator 7.5: proportion of total water resources used. This indicator was defined as “the total volume of groundwater and surface water withdrawn from their sources for human use (in the agricultural, domestic/municipal and industrial sectors), expressed as a percentage of the total actual renewable water resources”. During the development of SDG indicator 6.4.2, the possibility of using water consumption instead of water withdrawal was considered. However, water withdrawal was ultimately kept as the parameter to use to maintain consistency with the MDG indicator, and to reduce uncertainty due to the scarcity of data on return flows and on consumption in general. The formulation of the MDG indicator implied the need to reserve a proportion of water resources for covering EFR, as stated in the relevant metadata. In discussing the formulation of indicator 6.4.2, it became apparent that keeping EFR implicit could create a potentially false sense of security in situations where water scarcity is not apparent. At the same time, the importance of reserving water for the functioning of ecosystems was not highlighted by the previous formulation. Introducing EFR into the formula implied the need to collect data that are not usually monitored by the hydrological ser- vices in many countries, nor are they available in international databases such as AQUASTAT. However, EFR was included in the formula given its paramount importance to the indicator in terms of policy, and considering that while some coun- tries do not have the relevant data, at the global level, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) has compiled a country-based data set that can be used as a default. As a next step, FAO is working with IWMI, the United Nations University (UNU) and UN Environment to define a user-friendly approach to estimate EFR, both for computing indicator 6.4.2 and for identifying and assessing disaggregated data for water stress at the sub-country level. 2.1.2. Applying and testing the As might be expected, the main difficulties when apply- ing this methodology arose when estimating EFR. None methodology in the five pilot countries of the pilot countries had studied this variable at the na- tional level, except for Uganda, which had some figures from the Environmental Flow Manual prepared for the As previously mentioned, the MDG monitoring frame- Nile Basin Initiative project. Peru is about to undertake work already included an indicator on water stress, de- studies of this kind and has a Chief Resolution (#98 fined as “proportion of total water resources used”. 2016-ANA) to regulate their implementation. The main difference between this and the SDG indi- cator 6.4.2 is that the latter also takes into considera- Except for EFR and a few other cases, statistical tion EFR. Thus, during the pilot phase, countries were data were readily available from government sources already familiar with the SDG indicator methodology for the variables included in the methodology. Possible and most of the data were accessible and updated data gaps were filled with estimations or data taken from country institutions. Information was also availa- from international sources such as AQUASTAT. These ble from international sources, such as AQUASTAT. figures were updated or estimated up to 2016, 2015 or 2014 and were generally reported annually or biennial- In some cases, the existence of various information ly. For most countries, data are consolidated and pub- sources was problematic since different figures could lished at the country level, except for Peru, which also be found for the same variable. For instance, data for disaggregates data for its three major basins (Pacif- agricultural withdrawals in Uganda were available from ic, Amazon and Titicaca). More information on this is the Government, AQUASTAT and the Nile Basin Initia- provided in section 2.2.2. tive, and there were considerable differences among the numbers provided by each source. In these cases, To implement and test the methodology, all pilot coun- it is important to understand which factors caused the tries established working groups with relevant stake- differences, and to either harmonize them or choose holders to share findings and validate the data and the value whose metadata best matches the definition analysis conducted (see section 2.2.1 and 2.3). stated in the indicator’s methodology.
Progress on Level of Water Stress 24 2.1.3. The monitoring ladder to national estimates, based on a country’s more detailed knowledge of its natural and social condi- tions, taking into account factors such as the level The monitoring ladder for indicator 6.4.2 is defined as of development, population density, availability of follows: non-conventional water sources, specific ecosys- tem needs and climatic conditions. 1. At the first level, the indicator can be populated with estimations based on national data aggre- The pilot countries had statistical data availa- gated to the country level. If needed, data can be ble at the country level for most of the variables defined retrieved from international databases on water for indicator 6.4.2. As such, they were all already be- availability and withdrawals by different sec- yond level 2 of the ladder (Figure 1). The Nether- tors. Estimates for EFR based on literature values. lands could even be considered level 3 as it is able to provide more accurate data, fully disaggregated by 2. At the next level, the indicator can be populated source and use. The country can also supplement sta- with nationally produced data, which can increas- tistical data with remote sensing and model data for a ingly be disaggregated to the subnational basin better spatial and temporal resolution, to estimate the unit level. Estimates for EFR based on litera- following: ture values. • Precipitation data from measuring stations over 3. For more advanced levels, the nationally produced the country’s surface using radar measurements data have a high spatial and temporal resolution (e.g. geo-referenced and based on metered vol- • Evapotranspiration (ET): instead of using potential umes) and can be fully disaggregated by source ET, actual ET is estimated using remote sensing (surface water/groundwater) and use (economic activity). EFR are assessed and refined according Figure 1. Country situation in the ladder approach The Netherlands 3 Uganda Senegal Jordan Peru 2 In-country data In-country data enhanced with In-country data modelled/satellite with degree of with some gaps data 1 disaggregation Peru would also be considered close to level 3 since had to be obtained from AQUASTAT, there was no of- it can present data at the basin level for TRWR and ficial government figure on water for livestock (despite TFWW. Jordan and Senegal would follow as they pro- its importance in the country) and data on TRWR was duce in-country statistical data, but only at the national not updated (the period available for analysis was 1952 level. Uganda would be considered closer to level 1 be- to 1978). cause the figures on industrial freshwater withdrawals
25 BOX 3 What next for the IAEG-SDG? The Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDG) was established by the United Nations Statistical Commission to develop and implement the SDG global indicator framework and targets of the 2030 Agenda. It com- prises United Nations Member States, with regional and international agencies participating as observers. The global indicator framework was agreed upon in March 2017. Following on from this, the IAEG-SDG’s work will now en- tail finalizing a framework for indicator monitoring and reporting, and reviewing and refining the indicator framework and its implementation on an ongoing basis. The group is expected to agree on a standardized reporting framework during its next meeting, in autumn 2018. The establishment of such a framework will help improve and rationalize the data-collec- tion process for the SDG global indicators, clarifying the roles and responsibilities of national institutions and custodian agencies alike. test the methodology and endorse the results ob- tained. Table 2 provides a comparative summary of the institutions/organizations involved in each of 2.2. Stakeholders and the countries. sources of data The main institutions involved were water-related mi- nistries and agencies and the departments of statistics. In the case of the Netherlands, research institutions 2.2.1. Stakeholders involved (Deltares) and consultancies (eLEAF) were also invol- ved in providing and analysing the data. All the pilot countries engaged relevant institutions in the SDG 6 process to provide data, implement and A child washes himself in Kallyanpur, a slum in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka. Photo: UN Photo/Kibae Park
Progress on Level of Water Stress 26 Table 2. Stakeholders involved in country testing of the indicator 6.4.2 methodology General Main data-collecting Other government coordination agencies bodies/institutions involved Deltares, eLEAF, Vitens-Evides International, Association of Dutch Water Companies (Vewin), water Ministry of Infrastruc- boards, Netherlands Environmental The ture and Water Mana- Assessment Agency, Water Footprint Statistics Netherlands (CBS) Netherlands gement – Delta Pro- Network, IHE Delft Institute for gramme Water Education, Netherlands Water Partnership National Water Authority (ANA) National Water Water Resources Management Unit Peru Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (ANA), Water Resources Planning and Authority (ANA) National Institute for Statistics Conservation Unit (ANA), FAO and Informatics (INEI) Ministry of Water and Irrigation Ministry of Water and Department of Statistics (DOS) Environment Statistics Jordan Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation Division (DOS), FAO Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation Ministry of Water and Environment Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry Ministry of Water and National Water and Sewerage and Fisheries Environment (MWE) Corporation Ministry of Trade, Industry and (Water for Production Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Cooperatives (Department of Industry Uganda Department and Water Development and Technology) Resource Planning & Uganda Bureau of Statistics Ministry of Finance, Planning and Regulation Department) Uganda Prisons Economic Development FAO and United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) Buganda Kingdom Ministry of Water and Ministry of Water and Sanitation Sanitation Water Utilities Association Senegal (Water Resources Statistics and Demography Agency Management and (ANSD) Planning Unit) Source: National reports ANA, 2016; Abu Zahra, 2016; DGPRE, 2016; MWE, 2016; CBS, 2016. 2.2.3. Sources of data by variable type The process of data gathering proved that, except for EFR and a few other cases, statistical data were most- ly available from government sources for the variables This section provides an overview of the various sourc- included in the methodology. Whenever data were miss- es consulted in each of the pilot countries for the main ing, e.g. the groundwater inflow from neighbouring coun- components of the methodology: (a) TFWW (Table 3); tries in the Netherlands or the withdrawals for industrial (b) TRWR (Table 3); and (c) EFR (Table 4). use in Uganda, they were either estimated or taken from international sources such as AQUASTAT or IWMI.
27 Data were generally updated or estimated up to 2016, into the Azraq oasis is only sufficient to restore part 2015 or 2014. In the case of the Netherlands, Jordan of the oasis. Historical flow of the springs in Azraq is and Peru, figures are reported annually or biennially, as about 10 106 m3, which is considered the natural re- recommended in the GEMI methodology. For Senegal quirement for the basin. and Uganda, the frequency of data collection and pub- lication was not specified. The Netherlands used three different approaches for estimating its EFR: Countries consolidated and published data at the country level, except for Peru, which also disaggregat- • Method Q90: the flow that exceeds 90 per cent ed data by its three major basins (Pacific, Amazon and of the record period is accounted for as the flow Titicaca) to give a less biased picture of the country’s needed to maintain the ecosystems. situation. This is highly relevant for an indicator on wa- ter stress, considering that the Pacific Basin accounts • Method 20–40: this estimates that between 20 for only 3 per cent of the country’s total freshwater re- and 40 per cent of the total renewable freshwater sources, but 57 per cent of its withdrawals. resources is needed for the ecosystems. For the Netherlands, this was considered to be 30 per cent. Even though data were available from most sources, certain challenges were encountered that should be • Method model input data: EFR is estimated by the considered by country teams when collecting the data. Netherlands Hydrological Instrument (NHI) model These are described in section 2.3.3. using input data related to vulnerable aquatic ecosystems. A focus on environmental flow requirements Peru and Senegal used the country estimates pro- vided in IWMI’s Water Data Portal, which are 37.9 and 20 per cent of mean annual flow, respectively. Peru also This component has proven the most difficult to obtain provided estimates at the basin level using IWMI data data on. Indeed, none of the pilot countries had statisti- from neighbouring countries that better correspond to cal data or had developed a specific in-country study to the conditions of each of the main country basins: for be able to draw their own figure (Table 4). the Pacific Basin, data from Chile were used; for the Amazon Basin, data from Brazil; and for the Titicaca Jordan estimated its EFR using its most important Basin, data from Bolivia (Plurinational State of). natural reserve as the reference: the Azraq oasis (a Ramsar site since 1977). The Water Authority of Jor- In the case of Uganda, EFR as a percentage of the dan (WAJ) pumps about 1.5 106 m3 of water per year mean annual river flow was derived based on the Nile from artesian wells to the wetland reserve to preserve Basin Initiative Environmental Flow Manual. This man- what remains of the oasis. Based on this figure, EFR ual provides an estimation for the Mara and Malaba were estimated at about 2 106 m3 for the last four years, river basins, which are representative of other basins in also taking into consideration the other natural areas in the country. The average value for the two catchments the country: the Dead Sea, Wadi Mujib and Wadi Wala. was 31.43 per cent. However, it is important to note that the water pumped BOX 4 Peru, a case for subnational disaggregation The case of Peru is very interesting. According to estimates presented in this report, the level of water stress in Peru is very low, around 1 per cent. However, the situation from the perspective of a decision maker is very different: most population and economic activity (including irrigation and mineral development) is located in the extremely arid coastal area of the Pacific Ocean, which has very low run-off, while most run-off occurs in the Amazon Basin, which is separated from the coastal area by the Andes mountain range. As such, the country needs water (i.e. water stress is high) on one side of the mountains and has a lot of water and very little use for it on the other side. This makes the average estimate for the entire country quite irrelevant in terms of policy support information.
Progress on Level of Water Stress 28 Table 3. Sources of data for total freshwater withdrawal and total renewable freshwater resources The Jordan Netherlands Peru Senegal Uganda Total freshwater withdrawal Statistics Ministry of Agriculture Netherlands Water and freshwater Ministry of Water (CBS) Environment withdrawal and Irrigation LEI research (MWE) (AW) (Water Balance institute (for area *Water for Reports) under irrigation) livestock estimated based on Department Statistics livestock Industry of Statistics Netherlands Organizations population freshwater (Environment (CBS) (annual in charge of withdrawal Statistics Reports) environmental water supply Water (IW) reports, national AQUASTAT Resources groundwater (figure for Management register) 2008) Unit Statistics and (from local Demography operators) Agency Urban supply: Ministry of Water (ANSD) National Water and Irrigation and and Sewerage Department of Corporation Services Statistics Association of MWE (database freshwater Dutch Water for Small Towns withdrawal Companies Water Supply) (SW) Data gaps were (Vewin) Rural supply: estimated using Estimated intermediate based consumption on rural population Collected AW: less than Frequency Collected biennially every 5 years annually, (by economic Collected IW: Every 5 years of collection/ Not specified published every activity), annually (AQUASTAT) publication four years annually (total SW: annually withdrawls) Country level Country level Coverage Country level Subnational level Basin level Country level Country level Basin level
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