Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Access to clean water and sanitation is largely met for all inhabitants in Sweden. With regard to the global indicators, the preliminary assessment can be made that Sweden fulfils the targets. Legislation and directives adequately cover most areas included by the goal.

However, there are several challenges, for example in areas where the drinking water supply might at times be threatened due to low groundwater levels. As a whole, the withdrawal of freshwater as a proportion of available renewable water resources is low (1.4 per cent in 2010), but regional data would provide a more differentiated view. In the Swedish environmental objectives system, the 2017 follow-up of the environmental quality objective Good-Quality Groundwater shows that there is a need to increase the protection of groundwater resources. Efforts are needed, for example, to reduce pollution due to chemicals, medicines and nutrients.

Internationally, Sweden contributes through special development cooperation interventions to improve access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, especially for women and children. Sweden also helps to protect the world’s natural wetlands and aquatic environments through membership in the Ramsar Convention. In 2015, development cooperation to water and sanitation interventions amounted to approximately SEK 790 million.

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