The right to water is a fundamental human right because water is essential for human life. No one can survive without access to clean, safe drinking water. Yet millions of children around the world die every day from polluted water and diseases spread by dirty water. Control over water is often related to questions of power that is easily abused particularly in conflicts between different peoples.
Problems of water are often
portrayed as stemming only from natural phenomena such as drought,
climate change, or the scarcity of water. But most water shortages and
water contamination stem from concrete human actions or policies.
Rather than focusing only on water shortages, we need to look at the
distribution of existing water supplies and who controls them. Rather
than blaming contamination of water on poverty, we also need to look at
who is polluting water supplies and why regulatory frameworks are not
preventing pollution. Recognizing a human right to water is an
important step toward holding decision-makers accountable and
recognizing the social and political dimensions of water use and
management. Fighting for the right to water promotes access to safe
water for all.