Join the UCLG campaign on the occasion of the World Water Day 2019
On the occasion of the World Water Day, UCLG reaffirm that access to water is a fundamental right everywhere, and it needs to be claimed as such even in the richest countries and in cities with sufficient resources, where too many people still suffer from very limited access to water and remain left out due to poverty and exclusion. Ensuring access to water for all is a moral responsibility to our citizens and one of the key dimensions of social inclusion policies.
(This article was initially published on UCLG website)
The efforts made by the international community to move towards sustainable development and access to basic universal services through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the Paris Climate Agreement, the Sendai Framework and the New Urban Agenda are commendable. They give us hope and allow us to hold on to the ideal of a better future for all our citizens. Even if access to basic services is progressing in several regions of the world we are seeing how, in many others, an increase in poverty translates into more and more citizens excluded from access to water and sanitation, which has been recognised as a human right by the United Nations’ General Assembly since July 2010.
“Water is essential to human life. It is a fundamental right, not a commodity. It is the responsibility of local governments to manage it as an essential public good and to ensure access for all.”
Local and regional governments play a key role in ensuring access to water in a world where almost half the population lives in urban areas. Water and sanitation services are struggling to keep pace with increasing urbanization and it is often necessary to work to maintain public infrastructure and thus avoid massive losses. Most local and regional authorities are responsible for water distribution and sanitation for the population they serve, and also manage many water-related issues in a broader sense, such as local economic development, access to energy and food, poverty reduction, environmental management, resistance to climate change and natural disasters, public health problems, etc.