"The world faces a water crisis and it is getting worse," the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment said in a report presented to the UN Human Rights Council.
"Human use of water, water pollution and the degradation of aquatic ecosystems continue to accelerate because of population growth, economic growth, the climate emergency, land-use change, extractivism, inefficient use of water, and weak planning, regulation and enforcement," he stated in the report Human Rights and the Global Water Crisis.
According to him, three quarters of all the natural disasters in the last 20 years were water-related, including floods, landslides and other extreme weather events.
Given the devastating impacts of the global water crisis on people’s lives, health and human rights, remedial actions must be taken rapidly and systematically, with priority placed on improving conditions for the most vulnerable.
Boyd said half the world’s population live without safely managed sanitation and urgent action was also needed to help the more than three billion people who either lack access to safe drinking water, or face periodic water shortages.
"Water pollution, water scarcity, water-related disasters and damage to healthy freshwater ecosystems have major impacts on a wide range of human rights, including the rights to life, health, water, sanitation, food, a healthy environment, an adequate standard of living, development, culture, and the rights of the child," he said.