How much water does the human right protect? Is there enough water in the world to protect this right for everyone?

Every human being requires about 1 gal. (4L) of water a day to survive in a moderate climate at an average activity level. We require an additional 13 gal. (50L) minimum to meet safe cooking, bathing and sanitation standards.

That means that we require about 5.3 gal. (20L) of water every day to protect our basic dignity. Some people call this the human right’s “minimum core.” This is just a “minimum” because access to 5 gal. of water still poses significant health risks. To ensure the full enjoyment of the right to water (and the full expression of our dignity and freedom) we generally require about 13-27 gallons (50-100L) per person per day.

There is sufficient water to meet the human rights-based needs of every person in virtually every country in the world – it’s just a matter of distribution within the population. Human rights law requires human consumption of basic amounts of water to trump other uses like industry or agriculture.

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