September 27, 2017 at 7:34 pm #15662
Since 2002, international and national laws, policies, strategies and coordination mechanisms of the water sector have become increasingly anchored to human rights standards and mechanisms. Human rights set minimum standards for IWRM and water
governance, but leave considerable room for national and sectoral laws to be applied above the bar set by human rights law.
What do you perceive as strengths and weaknesses with this system? Can you give examples from your own country or some particular case?
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September 29, 2017 at 4:44 am #15693
Hello everyone! Well I really like this course and I would love to have more time to dedicate, there are many interesting things to read and learn. Especially in this forum I consider that one of the biggest weaknesses in Argentina is the little value that is given from the state to human rights. Very few times the laws benefit the victims. One case in particular is hydroarsenism (HACRE) that has been studied for many years by groups of interdisciplinary researchers and today continue to extend laws and resolutions since the contents are higher than those proposed by WHO, and the Argentine Food Code (CAA) maintains its limit 5 times above that of the WHO. I consider that we are a country that lacks community responsibility. With the case of agrochemicals, aberrant things happen, and worse, since they are not even legislated. People do not know anything about agrochemicals, and do not have to know, food sovereignty should also ensure the state. I hope the traslation be good…sorry! I hope you understand me!!
September 29, 2017 at 9:22 am #15696
Thanks for your post. Arsenic is certainly a severe drinking water problem in many parts of the world, and from a HRWS perspective it is particularly linked with the safety /quality of the water. It is also a matter of food safety — but how is that protected by the human rights framework?
Those of you who have read Winkler’s article — what would she say?
September 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm #15700
Hello dear all,
The strength of this system is that it enables individuals and groups to acquire water which is important for them to lead decent life prior to water users who use water for other purposes. Moreover, it forces governments to strive their best to manage water resources in their jurisdictions as they should fulfill the human right to water, at least. In Ethiopia, for instance, domestic use of water, i.e., water for drinking, cooking, sanitation or other similar domestic use, shall have priority over and above any other uses.
September 29, 2017 at 2:18 pm #15701
Is drinkinw water regulated in Ethiopian law, or is there a policy adopted on allocation priorities?
October 1, 2017 at 2:09 pm #15729
Many thanks indeed for these furnished videos in the module. I have learnt a lot from them.
The right to the enjoyment of water means that drinking water for household uses must be of quality standard (considering colour, odour, taste and safety measures).
As a strength
To minimise the risk of calamity resulting from poor water supply and sanitation, Cameroon has created “The Water Code” providing national measures of developing and implementing drinking water quality – set out from the international “World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality”.
As a weakness
The right to water may not be enjoyed simply because there is sufficient, safe and acceptable water for use. Collection of water from distant sources imports both direct and indirect risk to health. Women and children are, therefore, must affected in this sense because they are the major collectors of water for domestic and personal use.
October 2, 2017 at 1:02 pm #15732
Thanks for sharing wrt. Cameroon! If I understand you right, your country lacks provisions for making drinking water available but the safety of the water is regulated. I am hoping that the HRWS attributes and the SDG 6.1 indicator are being discussed and that work is underway to achieve progressive realisation.
October 2, 2017 at 5:41 pm #15733
Many thanks indeed for your feedback! You have well understood and summarized this water governance’s difficulty in my country.
Though Cameroon is among a few African countries that have signed and ratified international legal instruments calling for recognition of the right to water,
access to potable water remains a nightmare to the local population of the rural areas as well as those marginalized in urban areas.
As you are hoping, the HRWS attributes and the SDG 6.1 indicator are being discussed but the implementation of the right to water as provided in “The Water Code” still meets many challenges:
– the building of capacity of those in charge of surveillance and control of “The Water Code”;
– the participation of the population and the civil society organisations in decision-making relating to the right to water. It should not always be an affair in the hands only of officials and legislators of the government.
October 2, 2017 at 11:28 pm #15737
Peru’s Water Resources Policy and Strategy has five policy axes: quantity (management of), quality (management of), accessibility (management of), water-awareness culture and climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Human rights principles are not explicitly referred in the cited policy, however you can find some references; per example, domestic water use is prioritized above other uses, the accessibility axis tends to attend the demand on water resources respecting the principle of legal certainty, improving temporal and spatial distribution and promoting the universal access (urban and rural areas) of water; all in all, through action guidelines. There are no reference about specific action guidelines oriented to attend vulnerable populations needs on water, sanitation and hygiene.
October 3, 2017 at 1:04 am #15739
Hello to all of you, I hope you all have a nice week.
In Bolivia, something that is very positive, is that the right to water has been established as the most fundamental right of all, established in the Constitution of the State of 2008 in article 373. In fact the current rules have a strong component of establishment of desirable minimums and targets to be met in the coming years. We have a Ministry whose mandate is precisely the management of “water and environment”, an exclusive Authority for the control of urban water resources, an exclusive Authority for rural water management and watersheds, as well as many plans and programs that ensure the provision water for irrigation, consumption, hygiene and other uses for other industries.
However, I believe that the greatest weakness is compliance with the standards, but in addition, the proposed goals that are not very efficient and are carried out under old concepts. For example, in the case of agriculture, traditional irrigation systems have been returned, which are water-intensive without recovery. Therefore, although water supply is guaranteed, consumption is not efficient and is not ecological, exhausting a much needed resource.
October 3, 2017 at 4:25 am #15740
The Colombian Constitution from 1991 did not include the access to water as a human right. However, thanks to the article 91 of this norm, all the international treaties that develop topics related to human rights, are adopted as a part of the constitution, and specifically as a fundamental right. Without any doubt, in any legal order, the fact of considering the water supply as a human right has an importan connotation in terms of normative hierarchy. Nevertheless, and agreeing with some of the previous interventions, it´s necessary to respect adequately with the minimum standards, which does not always happen.
October 3, 2017 at 4:27 am #15741
One of the strength I perceive is that at least the standards gives room to those countries that do not have any standard or bench mark to even ‘start-off’- at least some ground work is done for these countries. Another strength as stated above is that it becomes a guideline or an overarching document for sectors and national policy makers to make specific and local policies conducive to the country . The weakness of such standards is that there is a danger a lot of institutions and countries may adopt it as a national standard and keep it that the same minimum standard.
October 3, 2017 at 7:47 am #15742
Great to see that so many of you are active in the Forum. Keep sharing!
October 3, 2017 at 10:42 am #15743
Thank you jenny for your active conversation.
in my opinion human rights-based standards for IWRM provides a basis for building a full list of standard which should be made according to the local situation and cross-borders issues in any region, however, leaving this to the local authorities may not work well in some countries and the standard will not be fulfilled or sufficient. perhaps a UN-based monitoring group should ensure the fulfillment of IWRM management and follow up with the local authorities the issuance of full standards.
October 5, 2017 at 9:56 am #15753
Dear Jenny, thank you for the module and raising very important point for discussion.
I don’t see problems with the system. The problem is if there are failures in translating human rights provisions stated in national IWRM policies. This means that if there is no a human right sensitive WASH governance, it is difficult to think of human rights principles. Therefore; countries should work in realizing conventions/ provisions endorsed from international treaties.
Thank you very much!
October 5, 2017 at 11:02 am #15754
Hi Nigussie and everyone else,
From my point of view, the main ‘problem’ with the human rights system is the so-called implementation gap. This, in turn, depends to some degree on whether you approach the HRWS and other human rights from the perspective of the international law, or seek answers in the domestic constitutional order. If you do the latter, you may find that, for instance, India is among the states with the most developed jurisprudence on economic, social and cultural rights. The system for protection of these rights has developed through judicial interpretation of the civil and political rights in the Constitution, in particular the right to life as contained in Art 21, which has been interpreted by the Supreme Court as including the right to drinking water. However, its neighbour Bangladesh does not have any provision on the right to (drinking) water in the Constitution. This being said, there are a number of reasons to question India’s attitude to realizing the HRWS.
October 6, 2017 at 10:21 am #15766
Nepal has formulated sectoral policies,acts,regulations related to water resources. These documents claim right to access to water for drinking, irrigation & domestic use purposes. The right to drinking water in Nepal was not explicitly guaranteed by previous Constitution. However, the new constitution of Nepal does it. In Nepal, the main problems are arising in implementation phase. The laws,regulations and policies are highly prioritized in papers but very weak during implementation. Of course, the policy documents are strength but in absence of implementing agencies these became weak.
October 6, 2017 at 11:40 am #15767
The situation in Nepal thus mirrors that of its neighbours and many, many other countries.
Today, I’m also thinking that the person or organisation who innovates a method to draw clean water out of air in sufficient quantities to satisfy at least our daily domestic needs should be awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize!
October 8, 2017 at 12:25 pm #15810
Thanks for sharing great insights from your counties. In Kenya, the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 was a landmark since the Right to Water and Clean Environment was enshrined in in the Constitution. The constitution further created devolved governance structures i.e. there being the National Government and the 47 County Governments. Whereas the National Government is responsible for National Level Policy and Legislation, the County governments are given the mandate of service provision. However, realization of the Right to Water and Clean Environment is supposed to be progressive with both levels of Government putting in place the necessary framework that will help achieve this. The Water Act 2016 was meant to help define a legal framework towards realization of this with the mandate of key institutions including the National Water Works and the Water Resources Authority being defined. The Act was meant to create harmony with the Constitution of Kenya 2010. With some conflicting mandates at the two levels of government, the Act has not been operationalized since there are groups that took the arbitration to the High Court. Once the issues at hand are sorted out, Kenya will be on the path towards progressive realization of the Right to Water and IWRM provided that the political goodwill and commitment exist, which as you and I know, is always the most difficult thing.
October 9, 2017 at 11:21 am #15815
As an example we have the groundwater resources under state law here in Brazil, not a federal law. It may cause a harm to the sustainability of the acquifers since most of the states has not enough resources to eforcement and monitoring.
Also, there are several sectoral plans developed at the national level and not Always they are connected. Sometimes they are not well known by the population and municipal technicians.
Years ago I used to rule a system to monitor the level of knowledge, perception and understanding of the river basin committees regarding the water resources management instruments determined in the federal law. Several admit to not know them well and assume they need capacitation efforts to understand it better.
We have in the law 5 core instruments: Plans, class of desired quality by use, outorgation, payment for the water use,compensation for municipalities and information system.
13 years later I am back participating in a research about the implementation of those instruments, and the level of knowledge is about the same. Plus, there will be no chance of success if those instruments are not also implemented in the neighbour countries or equaly in the brazilian states.
At same time, in the river basin where there are committees, most of them are able to solve their own problems and allocation needs.
February 14, 2018 at 2:20 pm #16451
Thanks for commment!
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