The Human Right to Water

Published: May 2007
Author: Peter Gleick
Pages: 5

More than a billion people lack access to safe drinking water. Two and a half billion people live without access to adequate sanitation systems necessary to reduce exposure to water-related diseases. The failure of the international aid community, nations, and local organizations to satisfy these basic human needs has led to substantial, unnecessary, and preventable human suffering. Tens of thousand of people, mostly young children and the elderly, die every day from water-related diseases.

In this analysis I address three critical questions:

1. Is there a human right to water?

2. If there is a human right to water, what is the advantage and implications of acknowledging such a right?

3. What are the obligations of states, regional governments, organizations, and individuals in achieving these rights? [...]

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