Ensuring Access to Safe Drinking Water as an Imperative of Sustainable Development

  • Vasilka SancinEmail author
  • Maša Kovič Dine


The principle of sustainable development has become a constant phrase of international documents adopted in the last few decades leading to the development of an international legal obligation of ensuring sustainable development. This chapter argues, that ensuring access to safe drinking water is one of the imperative due diligence obligations derived from sustainable development, requiring from a State to take all necessary actions that can be reasonable expected from it to take to ensure sustainable development. This obligation of ensuring access to safe drinking water is an obligation of conduct and as illustrated in the chapter stems from the two intertwined pillars of sustainable development: social development and environmental protection. Such an understanding of the obligation to ensure sustainable development opens up a possibility of additional legal reasoning, alongside the human rights arguments, when advocating for respect of an international legal obligation imposed on States to diligently pursue their efforts of ensuring accessibility to safe drinking water, not only to specifically affected groups of people, but systemically, to the entirety of their populations.


Access to safe drinking water Due diligence Obligation of conduct Human right Rational utilization 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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