Keeping progress of integrated water resources management on track

Between April and October 2023, UN Member States will take stock and report their progress on implementing the integrated water resources management (IWRM) target under the SDGs. GWP, through the SDG 6 IWRM Support Programme, will assist countries in facilitating multi-stakeholder consultations to assess and report on their progress on SDG indicator 6.5.1.

Halfway to the SDGs 2030 deadline, it is apparent that implementation of the water-related targets under SDG 6 is significantly lagging behind. Countries need to at least double the current rate of progress to reach target 6.5 on IWRM implementation. This year’s data drive can help countries to identify gaps and barriers to progress and prioritise the actions they need to take to accelerate progress and move the needle on water-related SDGs. Furthermore, given water’s crosscutting nature to all SDGs, achieving this target is essential for boosting broader national progress.

Monitoring and reporting of SDG indicator 6.5.1 on the implementation of IWRM are carried out through a self-assessment survey conducted every three years by all UN Member States. “This process provides an excellent opportunity for countries to take stock of the effectiveness of their previous actions, evaluate their challenges and opportunities around water management across sectors, appreciating the inter-connectedness of water with land use, climate change, biodiversity, and sustainable production and consumption,” says Joakim Harlin, Chief of the Freshwater Ecosystems Unit at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Chief Manager at the UNEP-DHI Centre on Water & Environment.

The SDG 6 IWRM Support Programme operates under the guidance of UNEP, as the custodian agency for SDG indicator 6.5.1. GWP coordinates the programme in collaboration with the UNEP-DHI Centre and UNDP Cap-Net. It provides technical and financial assistance upon demand from countries to foster a stakeholder-inclusive and cross-sectoral reporting process around SDG indicator 6.5.1. This process strengthens SDG target 6.5 national monitoring and reporting frameworks by identifying critical areas for attention, which stakeholders can then prioritise to boost progress towards the 2030 goals.

Updated guidance material

The SDG 6 IWRM Support Programme has created and updated a wide range of guidance material in multiple languages for countries and interested stakeholders – including a monitoring guide with information on the overall process, and a stakeholder consultation manual.

A free self-paced course for facilitators on conducting multi-stakeholder consultations to monitor SDG 6.5.1 is also available in English, French, and Spanish. Furthermore, the SDG 6 IWRM Community serves as a platform for IWRM practitioners to exchange information   on how best to monitor this indicator and meet the challenges of IWRM implementation.

Accelerate implementation

Building on the monitoring process in the coming years, the SDG 6 IWRM Support Programme will assist selected countries in turning those opportunities into significant and actionable investment opportunities to facilitate the multi-annual implementation of actions that address those priorities.

For countries interested in discussing options for assistance through the SDG 6 IWRM Support Programme, please contact us via

“GWP is proud to coordinate the SDG 6 IWRM Support Programme. We see it as an opportunity to accompany countries on their path towards sustainable development by connecting multiple stakeholders across sectors to agree and act on their water-related challenges, which is the spirit of IWRM,” explains Elena Trovesi, Interim Executive Secretary at GWP.

More information is available here