As the Millennium Development Goals did earlier, the Sustainable Development Goals have mobilised the international community into what can be the most important, although the most challenging, development goals of the 21st century. However, a main limitation has been that the SDGs considered as a baseline the inaccurate figures that were presented by the UN at the end of the MDGs. These figures were not challenged, not even by the academic community, who in many cases has used them uncritically. As a result, innovative proposals that would improve management of water resources in general and of water supply, sanitation and wastewater management in particular did not emerge, with the consequent negative health and environmental impacts for billions of people globally.
By Cecilia Tortajada and Asit K. Biswas, 2018. Article published in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 34, pages 21-25. DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2018.08.001