Show Me the Water! It Is Time for Congress to Acknowledge the Human Right to Water Access
Citation: 36 ELR 10047
Editor's Summary: The majority of U.S. citizens do not think twice about water usage when they take a shower, flush their toilets, or wash their cars. Yet 1.95 million people in the United States lack basic access to sufficient water and sanitation. The international community is already taking steps to ensure that water conflicts are limited and resources are protected for the future. In fact, many nations are declaring that water is a human right and that all citizens have the right to access and sanitation. State legislation and court decisions within the United States show a similar movement toward a cleaner environment and better water management. The U.S. Congress, however, has yet to take any stand. This Article argues that the time has come for Congress to advance international and state interests by acknowledging that the right to water, like the right to life or the right to be free, is fundamental to all citizens. The author argues that Congress must take immediate steps to provide sufficient clean and accessible water to Americans whose current water resources do not meet World Health Organization standards. He urges Congress to affirm the Water for the World Resolution and to sign the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005, thereby allowing Congress to take the necessary first steps in acknowledging water's importance to international and domestic communities.