The human right to safe drinking water and sanitation is derived from the right to an adequate standard of living and inextricably related to the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, as well as the right to life and human dignity" – Human Rights Council
The Right to Water and Sanitation Toolkit
The water supply for each person must be sufficient and continuous to cover personal and domestic uses, which comprise water for drinking, washing clothes, food preparation and personal and household hygiene.
Water for personal and domestic uses must be safe and acceptable. It must be free from elements that constitute a threat to a person’s health. Water must also be of an acceptable colour, odour and taste to ensure that individuals will not resort to polluted alternatives that may look more attractive.
Water and sanitation facilities must be physically accessible and within safe reach for all sections of the population, taking into account the needs of particular groups, including persons with disabilities, women, children and the elderly.
Water services must be affordable to all. No individual or group should be denied access to safe drinking water because they cannot afford to pay.
Reports, Guidance and Tools
Handbook on the realization of the rights to water and sanitation
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: General Comment n°15:
Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish
Special Rapporteur thematic reports:
Access to Sanitation: Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish
Non-State Service Provision in Water and Sanitation: Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian |Spanish
National Plans of Action for the Realization of the Rights to Water and Sanitation: Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish
Financing for the Realization of the Rights to Water and Sanitation: Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish
Study on human rights obligations related to equitable access to safe drinking water and sanitation
UNDP, Human Development Report 2006, Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis
UN-HABITAT, SDC, AAAS and COHRE, Manual on the right to water and sanitation
UN Sub-Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: Guidelines for the Realization of the Right to Drinking Water and Sanitation, August 2006