Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation | The Agenda 2030 and Tourism
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    || The 2030 Agenda and Tourism > Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
    Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation

    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

    By Helen Jennings, Tourism Concern

    “Tourism can play a critical role in achieving water access and security, as well as hygiene and sanitation for all. The efficient use of water in the tourism sector, coupled with appropriate safety measures, wastewater management, pollution control and technology efficiency can be key to safeguarding our most precious resource”. (UNWTO 2015, Goal 6)

    This very idealistic statement by the World Tourism Organization emphasises what could be the case. However, tourists in many areas actually contribute to water scarcity and inequity, through the appropriation of public water supplies, over exploitation of aquifers, lowering of groundwater tables, and contamination of freshwater by saltwater and sewage. This leads to conflict and resentment among local people, and threatens the sustainability of tourism, which in turn further damages the economy of the places being visited. To be sustainable, tourism to countries or areas with water supply problems needs to be carefully managed in a way that improves local conditions rather than adds to the problems.