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Chapter Summary

Conflicting interests on the use of freshwater resources are not a new phenomenon. The consequences of water scarcity such as diseases, social conflicts and degradation of the environment may, however, also affect parts of humankind enjoying secure water living conditions. Strategies for coping with water scarcity may approach the problem from its supply side or its demand side and may consist of technical as well as political measures. Th e over-exploitation of international watercourses often results from competing national concepts that do not sufficiently consider equally the interests of all riparian states and in particular the basic needs of the riparian states' populations. Building water utilisation law upon human rights does not mean replacing or preventing any of the water management policies. The recent General Comment on the human right to water adopted by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights stimulated the debate.

Keywords: freshwater resources; human rights; riparian states; water management policies; water scarcity



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