Safe, Clean Water Is A Human Right
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The Safe Drinking Water Act—stands for the proposition that providing safe, clean water is an absolute government obligation. Public outrage over the drinking water crises for the residents of Flint, Michigan and Hoosick Falls, New York are early warning signs that the government is not protecting our right to clean water.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation suggested in 2014 that the city of Detroit, by shutting off water to poor African-American families, had failed in its obligation to fulfill water rights in a nondiscriminatory fashion. The NAACP and ACLU have made similar claims.
The Trump Administration as of July, 2018 has walked away from the Paris Accord on climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been busy working on completely rewriting the Clean Water Act to nullify current standards. And is planning to protect ONLY about a third of the waterways that the United States has protected for decades.
While an international law recognizes the human right to water, unfortunately there is no binding enforcement and in the US there are no laws guaranteeing that you'll have clean water or that you'll be protected from water shut-offs if you can't afford it.
The United Nations General Assembly voted in 2010 to recognize “the right to safe and clean drinking water as a human right.” The United States and 40 other countries abstained from the U.N. vote to recognize access to water as a human right!
We can no longer wait for our local and state officials to defend our right to clean drinking water. Water as a human right is as much about making sure that the water is clean and not contaminated, as it is about access. The responsibility falls upon each of us to demand that the government defend this basic human right.
Become an advocate for water. Spread the word. By 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of freshwater (UN World Water Development Report).
Now is the time to stand for water rights. Now is the time to challenge your local government policy makers about your water rights. The Trump Administration's EPA is attacking infrastructure funding, affordability, regulatory reform, and research support for water.
Talk to your neighbors about how they can help and work with your local elected officials to ensure that your water rights are being protected. Write your community leaders to urge them to provide robust funding for water infrastructure funding programs. Safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a human right. Make your voices heard on this critical issue today!
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