Op-EdAre Americans being denied fundamental right to water?

A city’s residents are seeking help from the United Nations toward getting a fundamental human need attended to. Not a third-world city, mind you, but a major city in the United States bordering the largest body of surface fresh water on the planet.

Detroit households are losing water service in record numbers. Due to falling behind on payment of monthly bills, as many as 3,000 households had their water cut off every week between March and June. After a moratorium was lifted when a judge ruled out an “enforceable right” to water, the cut-offs have recently been resumed. Every day, up to 400 additional Detroit households are losing water service, as “Democracy Now” reported on Oct. 10.

As to the human right to water — it being quintessential to life itself — the possible scarcity of it was not considered during the United Nations’ founding in 1948. Though not included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights initially, the world body now, in July 2010, added clean drinking water and sanitation access to the elements universally accepted as “essential for the full enjoyment of the right to life.” More...


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