Right to Water as Fundamental Human Right

Water is one of the most fundamental requirements for every human to survive. Every individual should have access to water, satisfying the norms of quality and quantity. Water is necessary for survival, production of food , for environmental hygiene, etc. Right to water is one of the basic requirements for any other human right to have its value. Water is a natural resource, most  vital component and an essential element and pre- condition of origin, occurance and existence of all known life and life forms-plants and animals, human and non-human including  in their active and dynamic states. Today, in the 21st century the greatest threat to our water resources undoubtedly comes from pollutions. As this is a problem worldwide, it is mainly in developing countries.

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The water is increasingly becoming polluted and scarce natural resources and has been problems in the context of environmental pollution in general due to multiple causes and has adverse effect on public health and safety, aquatic and marine life, plants and animal life, land and property, destruction of recreational facilities such as eco- tourisms. There are legal loopholes as the enforcement mechanisms are faulty and the pollution control is continues to be ineffective although the laws are very well drawn up. In other words, it is more of issue of water governance. This requires the urgency to make Right to Water as fundamental right. Right to Water is fundamental to life and health, sufficient and safe water is pre-condition for the realisation of Human Rights.

As right to water is internationally recognised in various international instruments.  African Constitution recognised Right to Water in Article 27 of the Bill of Rights. In India, Article 21of the Indian constitution guarantees right to life includes the right to pollution free water. But right to water has not been explicitly mentioned. In Narmada Bachao Andolan v. Union of India,  (2000) 10 SCC 664,  it was held that “Water is the basic need for the survival of human beings and is part of the right to life and human rights as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India….and The right to healthy environment and to sustainable development are fundamental human rights implicit in the right to “life”.

Post Contributed By:

Laxmi Khawas
IILS, Dagapur

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