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The realisation of the human right to water and sanitation is one of the crucial challenges that many countries face today. This has been recognised in general policy terms with the inclusion of a water and sanitation goal in the Millennium Development Goals, and in legal terms, there has been steady progress towards the recognition of the right. Thus, the human right to water and sanitation is now firmly recognised in a number of countries and has gained increasing acceptability at the international level, even though it is yet to be explicitly included in one of the general human rights treaties.
This book analyses the right to water and sanitation at both the international level and national levels. Looking at international legal dimension the book focuses on the recognition of the right in human rights instruments, the water and sanitation content of other human rights in particular the rights to health, food and equality, and the other international law instruments whose content impacts the realisation of the right to water and sanitation such as the Water and Health Protocol to the UNECE Watercourses Convention. At a national level the book examines India a country where the existence of a fundamental right to water and sanitation is largely uncontested. The book examines the law in India relating to both recognition and realisation of the rights. The book considers the complex legal framework in place at the union and state level for the realisation of the right in both rural and urban areas. The book also examines ongoing and proposed reforms to the law and policy in India.
The lessons from the Indian experience provide the basis for proffering a series of recommendations concerning the content of the right and its realisation in practice. The Indian experience also provides the basis for a series of other conclusions concerning the link between the national and international legal regimes, finding that in a context of increasing global water scarcity and where climate change will have significant impacts on the global water cycle it is impossible to conceive the human right to water and sanitation only in its national dimension.