Rights-Based Water Governance

Funded by: BHPCountry: WorldwideDate Range: 2021Project Lead: Pulte InstituteNotre Dame Collaborators: Environmental Change Initiative, Keough School of Global AffairsContact: Tom Purekal

The Pulte Institute, in partnership with faculty from Notre’s Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative and the Keough School of Global Affairs, is producing a groundbreaking right-based approach to water stewardship for state and non-state actors engaged in water management. The framework uniquely combines hydrological, political, and legal considerations into a series of questions that capture the right to water's multi-dimensionality and intersectionality with other critical social, cultural, and political rights. The goal of the final product is to equip enterprises and state actors with the appropriate strategy to make a preliminary assessment of the implementation of the right to water in any given industry operation and context in order to mitigate risk and prevent abuse. 

The research team is being led by Tom Purekal, Director of the Pulte Institute's Innovation & Practice Division, Marc Muller, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, Diane Desierto, Professor of Law and Global Affairs, and Ellis Adjei Adams, Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Policy. The project is managed by Elizabeth Dolan, a research associate at the Pulte Institute, and benefits greatly from the guidance of Ray Offenheiser, the William J. Pulte Director of the Pulte Institute, and Georges Enderle, the John T. Ryan Jr. Professor Emeritus of International Business Ethics.


In the first phase of the project, the multi-disciplinary research team collaborated to create a framework that took into consideration critical hydrological, political, and legal aspects of the right to water. The research team now looks to validate this framework by applying it to a series of hydrological and political contexts. 


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