A right to water
Access to drinking water is a fundamental human right, argues research published in the International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies. Jarosław Kowalski of Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, in Lublin, Poland, suggests that climate change, population growth, and burgeoning industrial and agricultural complexes with their growing demands for water mean increasingly that a lack of access to drinking water is an increasingly serious problem for millions of people.
"The protection of human rights has been an important problem in the modern world and it is addressed by governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and ordinary people," explains Kowalski. "Changes in the world trigger changes in the way we think and perceive human rights. The challenges of the 1950s and 1960s are sometimes still relevant, but there are many new issues that we must face today."
Kowalski suggests that we need to enshrine in international and local law the concept of access to drinking water as a fundamental human right. Once it is accepted as a human right, the rules and regulations that affect our response to climate change and how we regulate water usage in industry and agriculture with respect to water supply can be more effectively implemented to ensure that nobody dies of thirst.