The Human Right to Water in India

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This thesis analyzes and examines the right to safe and accessible drinking water as a human right focusing on India. The objective of this research is to assess the current status of the right to water in India, especially after judicial recognition of this right as part of the right to life guaranteed under the Indian constitution. It highlights the opportunities and challenges for further developing such a right. It also suggests some possible measures that India may have to consider in order to make this right a reality. It is important to note that this doctrinal research is limited in scope as it only focuses on one aspect of right to water, that is, the right to safe and accessible drinking water in the Indian context. This thesis makes an argument for an explicit and substantive recognition of the right to water in India’s constitution and laws based on experience with three comparable rights: the Indian right to education, the Indian right to food, and South Africa’s explicit right to water in its constitution and laws. As the right to life is closely connected to the right to water, it should not only be recognized but also strongly protected by law. Though this thesis acknowledges that a constitutionally/statutorily-protected human right to water won’t solve all water problems, it tries to make the case that such an approach may help to prioritize water, set minimum standards of governance, mobilize political will, fix accountability of government (especially towards marginalized sections), and to prepare a framework for community participation involving different stakeholders that will lead to more informed decision-making.
Human Right, Water, Constitution, Legislation, Codification, Policy
Fatima, Z. (2021). The human right to water in India (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from