Scholarship on the right to water has proliferated in interesting and unexpected ways in recent years. This book broadens existing discussions on the right to water in order to shed critical light on the pathways, pitfalls, prospects, and constraints that exist in achieving global goals, as well as advancing debates around water governance and water justice.

The book shows how both discourses and struggles around the right to water have opened new perspectives, and possibilities in water governance, fostering new collective and moral claims for water justice, while effecting changes in laws and policies around the world. In light of the 2010 UN ratification on the human right to water and sanitation, shifts have taken place in policy, legal frameworks, local implementation, as well as in national dialogues. Chapters in the book illustrate the novel ways in which the right to water has been taken up in locations drawn globally, highlighting the material politics that are enabled and negotiated through this framework in order to address ongoing water insecurities. This book reflects the urgent need to take stock of debates in light of new concerns around post-neoliberal political developments, the challenges of the Anthropocene and climate change, the transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as the mobilizations around the right to water in the global North.

This book is essential reading for scholars and students of water governance, environmental policy, politics, geography, and law. It will be of great interest to policymakers and practitioners working in water governance, as well as the human right to water and sanitation.

chapter 1|14 pages

The right to water in a global context

Challenges and transformations in water politics

chapter 2|13 pages

Valuing water

Rights, resilience, and the UN High-Level Panel on Water

chapter 3|14 pages

Making space for practical authority

Policy formalization and the right to water in Mexico

chapter 4|12 pages

Turning to traditions

Three cultural-religious articulations of fresh waters’ value(s) in contemporary governance frameworks

chapter 6|16 pages

The rights to water and food

Exploring the synergies 1

chapter 8|14 pages

Rights on the edge of the city

Realizing of the right to water in informal settlements in Bolivia

chapter 9|16 pages

Human right to water and bottled water consumption

Governing at the intersection of water justice, rights and ethics

chapter 10|14 pages

Against the trend

Structure and agency in the struggle for public water in Europe

chapter 11|18 pages

Remunicipalization and the human right to water

A signifier half full?

chapter 12|14 pages

Citizen mobilization for water

The case of Thessaloniki, Greece

chapter 13|14 pages

Race, austerity and water justice in the United States

Fighting for the human right to water in Detroit and Flint, Michigan

chapter 14|14 pages

Class, race, space and the “right to sanitation”

The limits of neoliberal toilet technologies in Durban, South Africa