The United Nations’ current sustainable development agenda outlines the need for safe management of drinking water and faecal waste, and the attainment of hygiene (UN 2015). This includes Sustainable Development Goal 6 (UN SDG 6), with an ambition to ‘ensure access to water and sanitation for all’ by 2030 (UN 2015):

  • For drinking ‘water’, the UN agenda seeks to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030 (UN Water 2016).
  • For ‘sanitation’, the evaluation indicators focus on two main elements: a basic sanitation facility that is not shared, and where excreta are safely disposed in situ or transported and treated off-site (WHO and UNICEF 2015). 
  • ‘Hygiene’ refers to infrastructure and technologies, cleaning products, services and behaviour that contribute to health-related, hygienic outcomes (WHO and UNICEF 2015).

As a signatory to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Australian Government is obliged to address WASH-related aspects within and beyond its own borders (UN 2015) and our research aims to provide evidence to assist key decision and policy makers including:

  • National, state, local and international government
  • Health organisations that provide services into communities
  • Water utilities providing water and wastewater treatment.