The SDG target 6.3 demands halving the proportion of untreated wastewater globally by 2030. To achieve this, the low-income countries (LICs) and lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) must achieve higher reductions in untreated wastewater than high-income countries (HICs) and upper-middle-income countries (UMICs). Assuming SDG 6.3 ideally achieved in 2030, there will still be 15% untreated wastewater in HICs, 31% in UMICs, 36% in LMICs, and 46% in LICs. This trajectory suggests that seeing a world free of untreated wastewater may take several “SDG like periods” with associated damage to environment and health and implications for sustainable development.
We are in danger of leaving the wastewater challenge to young people as next generation will be facing the results of today’s practices. They should have a voice in decision-making on wastewater management. This event will involve young professionals posing questions to wastewater leaders on innovative interim safe water reuse approaches until the world is free from untreated wastewater.
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