The book El agua como derecho humano: Reconocimientos y disputas en Costa Rica (Water as a Human Right: Recognitions and Disputes in Costa Rica) analyzes the role of the human right to water and sanitation in shaping the progress and problems in supplying safe water to all people in Costa Rica. Over the last 20 years, Costa Rica, a leader among Latin American countries, has approached a level of access to safe water on par with that of high-income western countries. Yet, despite the high aggregate level of water access, pockets of insufficient access to water remain, especially for individuals in the lowest income brackets.

The book’s contributors include 11 established and early-career scholars primarily from Costa Rica. Dr. Léo Heller, the special rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation (2014-2020) and Nancy Hernández López, a judge on the Inter-American Court for Human Rights and former judge on Costa Rica’s Supreme Court, wrote forewords to the book and gave presentations during the book launch.

The book was released at a book launch in San José, Costa Rica and simultaneously online. It was featured on two Costa Rican national news programs, TeleTica and Canal 13, on the Global Perspectives TV show on WUCF PBS station. Co-editor Evelyn Villarreal F. presented the book on a podcast “El agua como derecho humano: reconocimientos y disputas”, Programa Estado de la Nación.

You can download the book (in Spanish) here. 

The book is part of the grant project “Elevating Water Rights to Human Rights: Has it strengthened marginalized peoples’ claim for water?” funded by the Norwegian Research Council, PI Bruce Wilson. In addition to the book, the project has resulted in numerous journal articles as well as two special issues of peer-reviewed journals on the impact of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation.

Evelyn Villarreal F.

Research coordinator

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