Localising the Right to Drinking Water: Perspectives and Challenges
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Access to drinking water has become a critical matter for humanity in the current context of growing competing demand for resource. It is well recognised that the ongoing water crisis to a large extent is a crisis of governance. In this connection water is increasingly seen as a shared responsibility of different stakeholders, including the municipal governments acting at the forefront of the crisis. Human right to water represents a strong legal and operational framework capable of addressing the challenge of access to drinking water in contexts of restoring social justice, facilitating policy change and safeguarding governance processes from failure to preserve human interests. This PhD research is set within the important, but little understood intersection of the phenomena of local government, human rights and access to drinking water. It explores theoretical, practical and normative implications of the responsibilities of local governments in relation to the right to water. To this aim the thesis addresses perspectives of the local application of the right through the prism of the human rights principles of non-discrimination, participation and accountability. The principal research methods of this thesis are: academic and working literature study from related disciplines/fields, case study meta-analysis, evaluation of empirical findings and comparative normative analysis of the international and domestic laws. As an outcome, the study has effectively scrutinised the utility of the localising the rights-based approach to drinking water and enhanced the understanding of its municipal application.