The Human Right to Water

Significance, Legal Status and Implications for Water Allocation

By Inga T Winkler

In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Council recognized the human right to water. This formal recognition has put the issue high on the international agenda, but, by itself, leaves many questions unanswered. This book addresses this gap and clarifies the legal status and meaning of the right to water through a detailed analysis of its legal foundations, legal nature, normative content, and corresponding State obligations. The human right to water has wide-ranging implications for the distribution of water. Examining these implications requires putting the right to water into the broader context of different water uses, and analyzing the linkages and competition with other human rights that depend on water for their realization. Water allocation is a highly political issue reflecting societal power relations, with current priorities often benefitting the well-off and powerful. Human rights, in contrast, require prioritizing the most basic needs of all people. The human right to water has the potential to address these underlying structural causes of the lack of access to water, rooted in inequalities and poverty by empowering people to hold the State accountable to live up to its human rights obligations and to demand that people's basic needs are met with priority. *** "Overall, Winkler provides a thorough, if somewhat aspirational, description of the international human right to water. She does an excellent job of addressing potential criticisms to her conclusions... This work is highly recommended for anyone with an interest in the content and continued evolution of international human rights law." - Saskatchewan Law Review, Vol. 76, 2013 [Subject: Human Rights Law, Public International Law, Water Rights]

376 pages

Publication Date: 6/14/2012
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781849462839

Available in other formats