Reaching the champions of right to water & sanitation

4 min read

Reaching the ‘natural champions’ of the right to water and sanitation at IWA World Water Congress

Addressing the complex challenges of poverty, access to water and sanitation, and the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals will require water industry professionals to become ‘natural champions’ of Goal 6 promoting everyone’s right to access affordable services, WaterAid Chief Executive Barbara Frost will tell the World Water Congress in Brisbane during a keynote address on Monday 10 October.

The International Water Association’s World Water Congress & Exhibition, ‘Shaping our Water Future,’ in Brisbane, Australia brings over 5,500 water, environment and related professionals from more than 100 countries and offers new insights into how pioneering science, technological innovation and leading practices shape major transformations in water management.

Ms. Frost will speak to the urgency of meeting the promises of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 6 to reach everyone, everywhere with basic access to water and sanitation by 2030, if extreme poverty is to be eradicated.

Good hygiene, safe water and sanitation are crucial to good health and dignity, to being able to get an education, to better productivity, and to the rights of girls and women, who are most often tasked with water collection which takes precious time away from education, caring for family or paid work, and who are left most at risk when there is no safe, private toilet.

WaterAid Chief Executive Barbara Frost said:

“There is now more than ever a real need for vision, urgency and ambition to deliver access to clean water and decent toilets for all. It will require political will, behaviour change, innovation and huge investment. Civil society and the public and private sectors will need to work together with a shared goal to eradicate extreme poverty.

“The increasing challenges of climate variability, droughts, floods and unpredictable rainfall patterns always affect the poorest communities disproportionately. For change to happen the Paris Climate Change agreement and Goal 6 of the UN Global Goals for sustainable development require committed and urgent action. As industry professionals, all of us gathered here at the Congress are the natural champions for Goal 6.

“The ability to end extreme poverty in a generation is within our grasp – it is the duty of all of us to play our part to ensure a healthier, fairer, more sustainable planet.”

Barbara Frost is the closing keynote speaker on Monday 10 October at the World Water Congress. She is available for interview during the Congress – please contact Teresa Ayles on [email protected] or Matthew Rock at [email protected]


WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. The international organisation works in 37 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific Region to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 23 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 21 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit, follow @WaterAidPress or @WaterAidAus on Twitter, or visit us on Facebook at

  • Around 315,000 children die each year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation. That’s almost 900 children each day, or one child every two minutes.
  • Over 650 million people (around one in ten) are without safe water
  • Over 2.3 billion people (around one in three) live without improved sanitation
  • For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of $4 is returned in increased productivity.
  • Just $25 can help provide one person with access to safe water.
  • For details on how individual countries are keeping their promises on water and sanitation, please see our online database,


For more information or to arrange interviews please contact:

In Melbourne: Teresa Ayles, Director Corporate and Community Engagement at [email protected] or +61 (0)425726044 or Matthew Rock, digital manager, at [email protected] or +61 3 9001 8248.

In Delhi: Anil Cherukupalli, media and communications manager, on[email protected] or Pragya Gupta, media officer, on [email protected]

In London: Fiona Callister, global media lead, on [email protected] or +44 (0)20 7793 5022 or Carolynne Wheeler, news manager, on [email protected] or +44 (0)207 793 4485;

In Stockholm: Magdelena Olsson, communications manager, on [email protected] or +46 (0)8 677 30 33 or +46 (0)73 661 93 31, or Petter Gustafsson, communications officer, on [email protected] or +46 (0)8 677 30 21 or +46 (0)72 858 58 51

In New York: Alanna Imbach, media manager, on [email protected] or +1 (212) 683-0430 ext 224 or +1 (646) 267 8006.

In Ottawa: Christine LaRocque, manager of media and content development, on [email protected] or +1 (613) 230-5182 ext. 226

Or call our after-hours press line on +44 (0)7887 521 552 or email [email protected].