The Effect of Global :Population Growth on Sustainable Development Goal Targets 6.1 and 6.2
Dalton Webber, Mackenzie
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According to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 Synthesis Report on Water and Sanitation, the world is not on track to achieve SDG targets 6.1 or 6.2, which aim to provide global access to water and sanitation services by 2030 (United Nations, 2018). To achieve SDG targets 6.1 and 6.2 as the global population continues to rise, it is important that an emphasis is placed on slowing population growth, improving international development, and increasing overall quality of life. While social scientists have long shown the link between increased development and reduced population growth, there has not been a direct link exhibited between slowing population growth and access to water and sanitation (Sinding, 2009). Therefore, this quantitative research aims to establish the connection between population growth and access to water and sanitation. It also analyzes trends at the urban and rural level to delve deeper into the population dynamics to improve access to WASH, measured by SDG 6.1 and 6.2 indicators. Using regional SDG progress and population growth rates, this research will demonstrate the impact of population growth on achieving SDG 6.1 and 6.2. Results indicate that if current rates continue and no intervention is made, population growth will make globally achieving SDG 6.1 and 6.2 impossible. Stabilizing the population has many benefits, such as reducing both resource use and environmental degradation and making SDG 6.1 and 6.2 more feasible. As climate change progresses and the population continues to rise, it is important to understand the connection between water and sanitation and population growth to find synergistic ways to improve both (Graff and Bremner, 2014). Additionally, it is necessary to consider population growth when determining prioritization for development efforts for the SDG 6.1 and 6.2 targets.