Research Handbook on Environment and Investment Law
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Research Handbook on Environment and Investment Law

Edited by Kate Miles

The Research Handbook on Environment and Investment Law examines one of the most dynamic areas of international law: the interaction between international investment law and environmental law and policy. The Research Handbook takes a thematic approach, analysing key issues in the environment–investment nexus, such as freshwater resources, climate, biodiversity, biotechnology and sustainable development. It also includes sections which explore regional experiences and address practice and procedure, and offers innovative approaches and critical perspectives, including the interface between foreign investment and the environment with human rights, gender, indigenous peoples, and economics.
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Chapter 4: Water and investment

Ursula Kriebaum


Investment and water are in a delicate relationship. Water is at the source of life and therefore not just a commodity, but also a scarce resource. UN human rights bodies and the European Court of Human Rights had to discuss and decide issues of access to safe drinking water and potential degradation of water. They have also played a role in many of the water-related investment arbitrations. This contribution seeks first to outline the normative and structural setup of the international legal framework with regard to water; second, to explore which requirements have so far been established by human rights bodies with regard to access to clean water; and third, to assess how investment tribunals have dealt with water-related cases. It then provides an overview of conclusions that can be derived from human rights as well as from investment case law.

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