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Making the right to water a reality: tackling barriers to access and equity

Jamie Skinner

Briefing, 4 pages

Water is receiving much attention in ‘post-2015’ development goal processes and debates, and is sure to feature prominently in future global goals. However, some important issues related to water rights are not getting sufficient attention, given that they are central to achieving human wellbeing based on foundations of economic progress, equality, healthy natural systems and participatory governance. Water rights as they exist in the real world may differ from how they are defined and understood in global goals and targets or in legal frameworks. This briefing looks at two aspects of water rights at opposite ends of the water use spectrum: access to clean drinking water and rights to water for agricultural irrigation. It suggests reframing future water
goals and targets to assure that these two needs are incorporated into efforts to achieve equitable and adequate provision of water for development, now and in the future.

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