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Human Development Report 2006

Beyond Scarcity – Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crises

image of Human Development Report 2006
The 2006 Human Development Report focuses on water and human development. Water is central to the realization of human potential. It is a source of life for people and for the planet. Clean water and sanitation have a profound bearing on health and human dignity. Inequalities in access to clean water for drinking and to water as a productive input, reinforce wider inequalities in opportunity. With competition for water intensifying, there is a danger that poor and vulnerable communities will become increasingly marginalized. The twin challenge facing governments and donors is to accelerate progress towards universal access to water and sanitation; and to ensure that water management policies strengthen the rights of poor households to access water resources.

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Water for human consumption

“The human right to water”, declares the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, “entitles everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use.” These five core attributes represent the foundations for water security. They also represent the benchmarks for a human right that is widely and systematically violated for a large section of humanity. For some 1.1 billion people, sufficient, safe, acceptable, accessible and affordable water for life is a hope for the future, not a reality for the present.

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