Table of Contents: June 2009

At the March 2009 United Nations meetings coinciding with the World Water Forum, a declaration that would recognize water as a basic human right was defeated. In this month's Editorial, the PLoS Medicine Editors argue that access to clean water should be declared a basic human right for three reasons. First, access to clean water can substantially reduce the global burden of disease caused by water-borne infections. Second, the privatization of water—as witnessed in Bolivia, Ghana, and other countries—has not effectively served the poor, who suffer the most from lack of access to clean water. Third, the prospect of global water scarcity—exacerbated by climate change, industrial pollution, and population growth—means that no country is immune to a water crisis.

Image Credit: Rudhach at


Clean Water Should Be Recognized as a Human Right

The PLoS Medicine Editors

The PLoS Medicine Debates

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