State Policy Showcase: Human Right to Water

Wednesday, 04/07/2021
2:00 PM ET - 3:30 PM ET

Event Info


Join us for our first State Policy Showcase! Amanda Monaco with the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability and Jorge Aguilar with Food and Water Watch will tell us about the Human Right to Water policies in California and Virginia – including the nuts-and-bolts of the policy and what drove action by decision-makers. Register TODAY!


Additional Information

Everyone should have access to safe and affordable drinking water and healthy rivers and waterways. However, in many US communities – predominantly low-income and communities of color – people struggle to afford their water, are faced with concerns over contamination from toxins like lead and PFAS, or don’t have access to water at all. Unaffordable water rates, water shut-offs, toxins in drinking water, and inadequate drinking and wastewater infrastructure contribute to this human rights issue in too many localities around the US.

The United Nations (UN) first adopted the “human right to water” in 2010 to address poverty reduction and sustainable development. The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights also adopted General Comment No. 15 on the right to water. Article I.1 states that “The human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity. It is a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights.” Although some countries recognize this right, the US does not yet do so. To address this human rights issue, state governments are stepping in and beginning to adopt “Human Right to Water” policies that guarantee everyone the right to clean and ample water and sanitation needed to sustain life and dignity.

In our first State Policy Showcase we will be joined by Amanda Monaco with the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability and Jorge Aguilar with Food and Water Watch to tell us about the Human Right to Water policies in California and Virginia.

In both case studies, we will hear about the nuts-and-bolts of each state’s Human Right to Water policy as well as the strategies, coalitions, and enabling conditions that led their state leaders to take action on Human Right to Water policy.

Following the case studies, we’ll have group discussions on topics such as what you see as the key components needed in a Human Right to Water policy, where these policies might be ripe, barriers and roadblocks you’re likely to encounter, strategies you’d use to overcome barriers, windows of opportunity you’d look for, coalitions you’d want to build, and other strategies you see are needed to successfully advance Human Right to Water policy.

Please join us on Wed. April 7 for our first State Policy Showcase on the Human Right to Water. REGISTER today.

About the State Policy Showcases

“State Policy Showcases” are a brand-new forum we are offering at River Network.

We’ve heard from you! Water advocates across the country who work on advancing progressive water policy at the state level have been telling us for a while that they would find it helpful if we could highlight state policy successes, on a variety of clean water issues. You’ve told us that you’re interested in both the “nuts and bolts” of the policy and how it works, as well as the “how-to” and what it took to get the policy adopted including the strategy, campaigns, coalitions, etc.

We hope to host around eight showcases a year. We want to feature a different water-related policy and case studies from network members who worked on getting those policies adopted during each showcase, as well as facilitate discussion so you can ask questions and share your ideas and experiences.

If you have a suggestion for a policy you’d like to learn about or a case study you’d like to share – as well as any other feedback on this idea – please reach out and let us know.

And stay-tuned! We have a second State Policy Showcase on Sewage Right to Know policy on-deck for June. Details coming soon!