Sustainable management of water resources and access to safe water and sanitation is essential for unlocking economic growth and productivity. The natural environment e.g. forests, soil and wetlands, contributes to the management and regulation of water availability, quantity and quality, strengthening the resilience of watersheds and complementing investments in physical infrastructure and institutional and regulatory arrangements for water access and use and disaster preparedness. Floods and droughts undercut food security and industrial activities, with direct impact on business operations and economic growth. Protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems and their biodiversity has a direct impact on the national economy and will help to meet the needs of a growing population (UNEP, 2020).
At the global level, 193 Member States of the United Nations have embraced the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an arrangement for accomplishing a better future for all. The 17 SDGs plainly characterise the world we want, and Goal 6 seeks to ensure sustainable management of water resources and access to safe water and sanitation for all (UN, 2015). This requires investment in adequate infrastructure, provision of sanitation facilities, encouraging standard hygiene practices and protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems.
Nigeria is ranked as one of the countries with economic water scarcity. This means that there is an adequate amount of water resources for human and industrial consumption, but not enough investment in infrastructure for water supply services and water resources management. The country did not achieve the water and sanitation targets for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and a number of efforts have been launched by the Government to ensure the SDG targets for water and sanitation are attained. Presently, over 70% of the country is experiencing severe floods (28 of the 36 States), with attendant impact on economic activities and human lives (World Bank, 2021).