Beyond Human Right vs. Commodity: Time to Realistically Assess Water Scarcity

by Simon Damkjaer

The water resources community remains stuck in a futile debate of whether water constitutes a human right or a commodity, which is resolved through the content of General Comment 15: water constitutes a human right, which puts conditions on economic approaches to water and its commodification. Instead, it is time to
address the issue of globally adopted misrepresentative water scarcity metrics that misleadingly show increasing conditions of scarcity, which risks biasing the argument towards the commodification of water. Redefining these metrics to portray hydrologic realities, will more precisely inform the formulation of water policies and help advance solutions to global water problems.

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