Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
Print version ISSN 1413-8123
AUGUSTO, Lia Giraldo da Silva et al. The global and national context regarding the challenges involved in ensuring adequate access to water for human consumption. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.6, pp. 1511-1522. ISSN 1413-8123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012000600015.
The scope of this article is to analyze the challenges involved in ensuring access to water for human consumption taking the international and national context into consideration. Based on the UN declaration that access to safe and clean drinking water is a fundamental human right, vulnerabilities are identified that can consist in restrictions to access to adequate supplies. The distribution of water and the population across the planet, pollution, inadequate policies and management lead to environmental injustice. The iniquity of access to water constitutes the contemporary water crisis. From the 1980s onwards, the transnational water market emerged for private control that occurs at three main levels: surface and underground water sources; bottled water; and public water supply services. The conflicts of the multiple uses of water resources, the market and environmental problems have contributed to rendering the health of the population and ecosystems vulnerable. Adequate public policies are essential to ensure the basic human right to access to safe and clean drinking water.
Keywords : water; access; environmental justice; human rights; vulnerability; protection of water sources.