The Human Right to Water

Significance, Legal Status and Implications for Water Allocation

By Inga T. Winkler

In 2010, the UN 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. Now available in paperback, this book addresses the gap and clarifies the legal status and meaning of the right to water. 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 also requires 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 right to water has the potential to address these underlying structural causes of the lack of access. Rooted in inequalities and poverty, people can be empowered to hold the State accountable to live up to its human rights obligations and to demand that their basic needs are met with priority. Author Inga T. Winkler is a Legal Adviser to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation and is therefore an authority in the field. [Subject: Human Rights Law, Public International Law]

Publication Date: 8/28/2014
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781849466622

Available in other formats