Contaminated water poses significant challenges to human life and development, and water crises are now being considered as one of the main global risks for the coming decade. In light of recent initiatives such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, the Sustainable Development Goals 2015–2030, and the acknowledgment by the UN General Assembly of the rights to water and sanitation, this chapter examines some of the principal global challenges posed by water contamination through the lens of disaster risk reduction, sustainable development and international human rights law. It finds that water contamination functions as a powerful illustration of how these three areas of international law complement and reinforce each other, and that the links between them should be further explored and developed by actors seeking to address the significant problems caused by the pollution of water.
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