September 16, 2019
 In 2021-Access to Water and Sanitation

Country: Germany
Delegate Name: Muskan Rekhani

United Nations Development Programme
Access to Water and Sanitation
Federal Republic of Germany
Muskan Rekhani
Forest Hills Eastern

Giving access to clean water or sanitation for everyone in all parts of the world is a big struggle. For example, in 2020, 2 billion people lacked access to safely managed drinking water, 3.6 billion lacked safely-managed sanitation, and 2.3 billion lacked access to basic hygiene services. About 1.5 million under the age of 5 die each year due to not having clean water in reach. One continent that faces this hardship the most is Africa, specifically Sub-Saharan Africa. The United Nations recognized this problem in 2010. International law, through human rights treaties, declarations, and other standards. In all of these official recognitions, they state that all humans have the right to sanitation. Including sufficient water for personal and domestic uses. Another action the UN took on this issue is setting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are a set of broad goals that the United Nation members agreed to pursue. Some of their targets are to improve access to water and sanitation are to reduce water pollution, improve the efficiency of water use, and manage water-related ecosystems. These actions by the UN were important because in several cases regarding the right to water, areas have been threatened by higher powers about discontinuing the water supply but those threats were shut down because constitutionally all humans have a right to water.

Although Germany recognizes access to clean water is a problem in some regions, Germany does not have an issue with this. In contrast, though, over the last 3 winters, it has been particularly dry. As a result of this, water levels have been falling, so this may cause future water problems. For now, though, 4% of Germany’s population is without a sewerage system and needs this for good public health because it filters water for safe consumption and usage. This new dryness and the alarming rate of droughts in Germany could lead to future problems. Still, as of now, more than 99% of residents are connected to a public water system while the rest have private wells and 93% are connected to sewers while the remainder has various types of on-site sanitation systems. Germany achieved this through sharing its water responsibility with the European Union (EU). As a country, there are no regulatory agencies or water and sanitation at the federal or state level. However, Germany plays a key role in setting the legal framework for tariff approvals. Other than that, their role in their policies relating to water is indirect and mostly run by the EU. The EU has the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive of 1991 which is about protecting the environment from adverse effects due to urban wastewaters, next they have the Drinking water directive of 1998 which is about filtering the water to make it safe.

Germany proposes that the United Nations follow their example and work to build a water system as a continent as a whole rather than their own individual countries. Some countries are dry and have weak water sources. With the help of other countries, however, they can be provided with clean healthy water that every human has a right to. This would work because continents as a whole care about their well-being, so countries within them will be more willing to help each other. In exchange for the water and sanitation help, the countries struggling with water can provide help back with other needs. In addition, some more extreme ways the United Nations can move closer to their SDGs would be to limit water waste, control global warming, and regulate water pollution.