Water is life-giving and non-substitutable. Exactly a decade ago, in July 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that recognized the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right. Yet, nearly a billion people in the world still lack access to safe drinking water, and water-related diseases and deaths remain pervasive, particularly in the Global South. Meanwhile, water grabbing, privatization of water, and mega hydraulic projects have been on the rise, thereby threatening the survival of millions and creating new grounds for water-related conflicts. Hence, right to water remains a rallying cry among scholars, activists, community leaders, and policymakers alike. At the same time, it is important to look at the rights framework critically and, as this course urges, think about water justice more broadly.
This course aims at providing students an in-depth understanding of some of the important theoretical perspectives on water and water governance, while exposing them to water-related conflicts and struggles around the world. We will deal with some of the key scholarship on the subjects of right to water and water justice.
The course is organized around five interrelated themes, which are as follows:
- Ontologies of Water
- Water Governance
- Water & Infrastructures
- Water Struggles and Movements, and
- Water Justice and the Right to Water