Improving water quality management

Progress towards the SDG target for safe drinking water is slow, and many countries remain off-target. Globally, the WHO-UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme estimates that 29% of the population lacks access to drinking water that is free from contamination.

REACH’s work to date has identified a number of challenges to improving water quality:

  • Water quality research and management often focus on a single contaminant;
  • Appropriate and reliable water quality data are not readily available to decision makers in a timely manner; 



  • Poor understanding of when and where changes are needed and how to implement them limits action; 
  • Roles and responsibilities affect how water quality hazards are assessed and managed.

Our work seeks to accelerate action to improve urban water quality through innovations in measurement, monitoring and management. Working together with stakeholders, from the community to the national and global levels, we are developing and refining risk-based methods for managing urban water quality risks from industry and other sources.


Kelly Ann Naylor, Associate Director, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Section, Programme Division, UNICEF

‘Our partnership with REACH recognises science has a critical role in designing and delivering effective policy and improving practice on the ground.’

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