New PHRGE Report Examines U.S. Initiatives to Promote Water Policy Transparency


05.03.23 — Northeastern Law’s Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE), has released the latest publication in its series on water and human rights in the U.S., Data on Tap: Realizing Human Rights through Water Utility Reporting Laws.” This briefing paper examines U.S. initiatives to promote water policy transparency through the lens of the human right to information. 

Jacob Hayward ’23 is the lead author of the report. Additional input was provided by Martha F. Davis, University Distinguished Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law; Elizabeth Ennen ’08, Director, PHRGE; Sanea Lamas ’24; Larry Levine, Director, Natural Resources Defense Council; Charlie Harak, Senior Attorney, National Consumer Law Center; and Olivia Wein, Senior Attorney, National Consumer Law Center.

“Nationwide, there is a growing trend to require that water utilities share data about the impacts of their policies,” said Davis, PHRGE’s faculty director. “Our new report explains that access to this information is both a human right and a critical step towards ensuring equitable access to water as costs increase.”

This is PHRGE’s eighth publication in a series on the human right to water. The other publications are: (1) “The Human Right to Water: A Research Guide and Annotated Bibliography”; (2) ”The Human Right to Water: Using Freedom of Information Laws to Understand Rising Water Rates;” (3) “The Human Right to Water: A Primer for Lawyers and Community Leaders;” (4) “A Drop in the Bucket: Water Affordability Policies in Twelve Massachusetts Communities;” (5)  “Disconnected: How Household Water Shutoffs in the United States During the COVID Pandemic Violate the Human Right to Water;” (6)  “Voluntary Local Reviews and the Human Right to Water.” and (7) “How Five Creative Water Utilities Are Assisting “Hard-to-Reach” Renters as Water Rates Rise.”

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