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Data sources


The SDG 6 Data Portal brings together data on all the SDG 6 global indicators and other key social, economic and environmental parameters.

Based on national official data sources

Countries oversee national monitoring via their national statistical systems. The national statistical systems comprise the National Statistical Offices, line ministries and other national institutions involved in monitoring. The 2030 Agenda clearly specifies that global follow-up and review “will be primarily based on national official data sources”. Most of the data in this portal is thus coming from countries themselves.  

At the global level, data on all SDG indicators is compiled and verified by the responsible United Nations organizations, and sometimes complemented by data from other sources. These organizations are referred to as “custodian agencies”.

To learn more about the roles and responsibilities for SDG 6 monitoring and reporting, visit www.sdg6monitoring.org.

Links to the Global SDG Indicators Framework

The custodian agencies submit country data, along with regional and global aggregates, to the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD). UNSD publishes the data in the Global SDG Indicators Database and in an annual SDG progress report, to inform follow-up and review at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The Global SDG Indicators Database includes data on the more than 230 indicators that comprise the SDG global indicator framework.

The SDG 6 Data Portal is linked to the Global SDG Indicators Database and complements it by offering more in-depth information on the SDG 6 indicators, as well as tailored-made analytical and visualization tools.

For more information about the indicators and the data

Throughout the SDG 6 Data Portal, indicators are marked with an information symbol, which you can click on to see a description and definition of the indicator. In all maps and charts you can place the cursor over a specific data point to see the full name of the indicator, area name, exact data value and reporting year. On Tables page, you can see all metadata that exist for a specific data point, including more details about where the data are coming from (e.g. if it is country reported, an estimation or modeled value, and if any adjustments have been made to it).

List of SDG 6 custodian agencies and databases

The SDG 6 Data Portal is an entry point to the wealth of water and sanitation information available within the UN system. For further details on specific indicators, including additional datasets, metadata and a qualitative assessment and analysis of the current status and progress, the indicator-specific databases listed below are the main point of reference.

Data type

Custodian agency

Global database

Examples of national data sources

Latest year with data

Drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (SDG indicators 6.1.1-6.2.1)

World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP)

National Statistical Office for household surveys and censuses, combined with institutional/utility records


Wastewater (SDG indicator 6.3.1)

World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

Country files for SDG 6.3.1

National line ministries and institutions (e.g. for Water, Sanitation, Environment, Health, Public Services, Planning, Housing, Infrastructure, Production), utilities and on-site service providers, National Statistical Office for household surveys and registers of economic activities


Water quality (SDG indicator 6.3.2)

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Global Environment Monitoring System for Water (GEMS/Water)

National line ministries and institutions (e.g. for Water, Environment, Natural Resources), universities and research institutions, NGOs and citizens’ science initiatives


Water availability and use (SDG indicators 6.4.1-6.4.2)

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)


National line ministries and institutions (e.g. for Water, Agriculture and Environment), National Statistical Office


Integrated water resources management (SDG indicator 6.5.1)

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)


National line ministries and institutions, NGOs, academia and business


Transboundary water cooperation (SDG indicator 6.5.2)

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)


National line ministries and institutions (e.g. for Water, Environment, Natural Resources, Hydrology, Geology)


Water-related ecosystems (SDG indicator 6.6.1)

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Ramsar


Line ministries and institutions (e.g. for Environment, Water, Natural Resources), universities and research institutions, NGOs and citizens’ science initiatives (ground-based surveys), space agencies (Earth observations)


International cooperation and capacity-building, stakeholder participation (SDG indicators 6.a.1-6.b.1)

World Health Organization (WHO) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-water (GLAAS) and OECD International Development Statistics (IDS) online databases

National line ministries and institutions (e.g. for Water, Sanitation, Environment, Health, Public Services, Planning, Finance)


Other SDG data

United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD)

United Nations Global SDG Database



Human Development Data

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Human Development Data Center



Other social, economic and environmental data

World Bank

World Bank Open Data



Use of maps

In the portal, different types of maps are being used, listed in the below table. The designations employed and the presentation of material on these maps do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Dotted line represents approximately the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir agreed upon by India and Pakistan. The final status of Jammu and Kashmir has not been agreed upon by the parties. Final boundary between the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan has not yet been determined. Final status of the Abyei area is not yet determined. A dispute exists between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning the sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).

Map type

Map source

Simple map

United Nations base map from the United Nations Geospatial Information Section

Topography map

OpenTopoMap of OpenStreetMap (CC-BY-SA), Web Mercator projection

Satellite map

Google Maps, Web Mercator projection

River basin map

The river basin map is based on the Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme – River Basin Assessment (contains 286 transboundary river basins) and the HydroBASINS database (levels 4, 5 and 6)