The Human Right to Water: SHRI to present at UN Water Conference

Author: Kara Kelly

“To reach universal access to drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene by 2030, the current rates of progress would need to increase fourfold,” the United Nations says. The Keough School’s Sustainability and Human Rights Initiative (SHRI) is working to achieve that goal. 

SHRI will present on its efforts to combat water insecurity and enhance human flourishing at the United Nations Water Conference on March 22-24, 2023 in New York.

“Unaddressed water issues are a barrier to meeting virtually all UN sustainable development goals, and the irresponsible management of natural resources in industry settings is a key contributor,” said Pulte Institute Innovation and Practice Research Associate Elizabeth “Lizzie” Dolan. “SHRI’s human rights-based approach uniquely leverages the expertise of University professors and researchers across disciplines — engineering, global affairs, law, and business ethics — to find solutions to promoting ethical stewardship practices among corporate and government industry actors."

At the UN Water Conference, the Keough School representatives will provide a practical framework with insights into how water-intensive industrial projects affect the environment and communities. SHRI offers states and corporations a research-based approach, incorporating ethical and legal understandings of regulatory and operational processes, to facilitate efforts to fulfill the human right to safe, clean water.

The SHRI initiative, which includes Dolan, Ellis Adams, Leonardo Bertassello, Diane Desierto, Kevin Fink, Marc Mueller, Ray Offenheiser, and Tom Purekal, will present on Thursday (March 23) at 3:30 p.m.

Read their white paper, “Water and Human Rights, Unlocked: A Guide for Water-Intensive Industries.”

The SHRI team from left to right: 

  • Marc Müller, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences
  • Diane Desierto, Professor of Law and Global Affairs and LL.M. Faculty Director, Notre Dame Law School and Keough School of Global Affairs
  • Leonardo Bertassello, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences
  • Lizzie Dolan, Research Associate, Pulte Institute for Global Development, Keough School for Global Affairs
  • Ellis Adams, Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Policy, Keough School of Global Affairs