Water and Sanitation

How can everyone get safe water to drink? What should be the innovation carried out?

Mustafa Nasr
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Started by Mustafa Nasr on
09 Feb 2015 at 05:24
Hygiene promoter, CSSW Yemen
Know-how: Other
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I will ask all group members here: When will the whole world have access to potable water, do you feel bad like me because billion and half billion people around the world without safe drinking water??

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Industry Tags: 
  • WaterWater SupplyDrinking Water

Comments

Water Network Research
Mustafa, today, UNESCO-IHE publishes a booklet containing 50 innovative solutions in the field of water & development. The innovations were created with UNESCO's global partnership network to develop, implement and validate novel solutions that ultimately aim to improve the quality of life on our planet. You can read the online booklet here http://bit.ly/16F273j
Sui Taiwan
Wonderful booklet. Very good material, thanks for the info water team, you are very efficient and fast.
Karina Vink
Excellent question, Mustafa. One approach is to promote the legalization of water as a human right, by discussing what people themselves identify as reasonable use of water for a decent human life, so that we might determine a minimum volume/capabilities to be protected or realized. I wrote on this topic in the article "Transboundary water law and vulnerable people: legal interpretations of the ‘equitable use’ principle, Water International, DOI: 10.1080/02508060.2014.951827 (2014)". Here are some points:

In July 2010 the UN General Assembly recognized the human right to water and
sanitation for the full enjoyments of life and all human rights by means of Resolution 64/
292 (UN, 2010). At this point, the resolution was still non-binding, however in September
2010 this resolution was adopted as a human right by the Human Rights Council (United
Nations Human Rights, 2010), stating that:
the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation is derived from the right to an adequate
standard of living and inextricably related to the right to the highest attainable standard of
physical and mental health, as well as the right to life and human dignity.
Article 8 (c) furthermore calls attention to vulnerable and marginalized groups, and
encourages non-discrimination and gender equality. As a human right, access to safe
drinking water and sanitation have become legally binding, according to the UN. Yet, as
described by Leb (2012), while there is a certain amount of international commitment to
the human right to water, it is in fact not a legally binding agreement, and about 25% of
the present state representatives did not vote on the resolution. Tremblay (2013) explains
that the right to water has not attained the status of customary international law because
the states are not consistently enforcing and implementing this right.

Exactly how to address equitable and reasonable water use remains subject to debate.
Issues of scale and quantities versus capabilities arise.
Goff & Crow (2014) critique the use of a minimum amount of water per person, and
explore the concept of water use for capabilities rather than set quantities per person or
household, and warn that, to resolve water inequity, other disciplines must be addressed to
resolve inequity on a scale beyond water alone. Merely replacing a set minimum amount
of water with a term such as ‘sufficient water’ may leave room for individuals with
characteristics requiring more water, but it may likewise be abused to mean as little as
possible for all people affected by the policy. Moreover, in considering capabilities and
different disciplines, it becomes ambiguous and culturally dependent which capabilities
and disciplines should be considered as most important. Zwarteveen & Boelens (2014)
posit that in discussing water and justice, the chosen discourse will determine how
equitable and reasonable access can be discussed, and therefore certain unequal power
balances are predetermined. The UN Watercourses Convention User’s Guide (para. 5.1.2)
mentions that distributive justice (equitably dividing both burdens and benefits) can only
be reached by procedural fairness (including minority groups in decision-making).
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