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Article

Equity vs. Efficiency and the Human Right to Water

Departamento de Ciencias Históricas y Geográficas, Universidad de Tarapacá, Arica 1000965, Chile
Academic Editors: Bruce M. Wilson, Malcolm Langford and Rebecca Schiel
Water 2021, 13(3), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030278
Received: 12 December 2020 / Revised: 14 January 2021 / Accepted: 21 January 2021 / Published: 24 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Politics of the Human Right to Water)
One of the most crucial discussions within water resource management is the debate between those who defend the concept of economic efficiency and those who privilege notions of social equity. This tension is located at the core of binary categories that currently constitute the public debate within comparative water law and policy. These categories are commodity/human right, private property/common property, free-market/state regulation, and market value/community value. This paper explores this tension by studying how neoclassical economics understands efficiency and tracing its rise as a key hegemonic principle for water resource management. I also present equity as a conceptual opposition to efficiency and describe its institutionalization through the human-right-to-water frame. A problematization of both the equity approach and the human-right-to-water frame follows. Finally, I propose a political ecology approach to better understand the tension between efficiency and equity and offer recommendations for informing the water research agenda on efficiency/equity. View Full-Text
Keywords: water policy; equity; economic efficiency; human right to water water policy; equity; economic efficiency; human right to water
MDPI and ACS Style

Prieto, M. Equity vs. Efficiency and the Human Right to Water. Water 2021, 13, 278. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030278

AMA Style

Prieto M. Equity vs. Efficiency and the Human Right to Water. Water. 2021; 13(3):278. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030278

Chicago/Turabian Style

Prieto, Manuel. 2021. "Equity vs. Efficiency and the Human Right to Water" Water 13, no. 3: 278. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030278

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