Sustainable access to safe drinking water: fundamental human right in the international and national scene

Celso Maran de Oliveira


Access to potable water is absolutely essential to the maintenance of life, as well as to provide regular exercise of other human rights. The lack of access to water in sufficient quantity or access to non-potable water may cause serious and irreparable damage to people. This paper investigates the evolution of international and national recognition of this fundamental human right, whether implicit or explicit. This was accomplished by the study of international human rights treaties, bibliographic information on water resources and their corresponding legal systems, national and international. The results suggest that sustainable access to drinking water is a fundamental human right in the context of international relations and the State. Further, even without explicitly stating this right in the Constitution of 1988, Brazil has incorporated the main international provisions on the subject, but this right must be acknowledged according to the principles of non-typical fundamental rights and the dignity of the human person. This right should be universally guaranteed by the Government in sufficient quantity and quality, regardless of the economic resources of individuals.


human right, right to water, sustainability


Revista Ambiente & Água. ISSN:1980-993X DOI:10.4136/1980-993X

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