Right to water

The right to water means the possibility that everyone can access both physically and financially, to enough clean water to take care of their personal and domestic needs. Access to clean drinking water is as fundamental to the survival of people and towns as preserving cultural practices or ensuring proper hygiene. 

Although providing drinking water is an essential condition to developing a project for autonomous life, recognition of this right is very recent. Specifically, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) derives the right to water from the right to food and the right to health. In their General Comment 15, the Committee defines the right to water as the access to “sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic uses”. An adequate amount of safe water is necessary to prevent mortality of dehydration and to reduce the transmission of waterborne diseases, for consumption, cooking and personal and domestic hygiene. Also, the population should be informed about the water resources, the quality and so on.

The standard principles that they expressly recognized of the right to water, as well as the General Comment 15 of CESCR what interprets them, are of the regional field. In this regard, it is also worthy to note the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa- articles 15 and 18-the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, article 14- and the Protocol of San Salvador- article 11.