It has been a long time coming, but on July 26th, 2010, the UN General Assembly:
"Declares the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights."
Nearly twelve years ago, I wrote a peer-reviewed article entitled "The Human Right to Water," published in the journal Water Policy. In that article, I argued that:
"Access to a basic water requirement is a fundamental human right implicitly and explicitly supported by international law, declarations, and State practice. Governments, international aid agencies, non-governmental organizations, and local communities should work to provide all humans with a basic water requirement and to guarantee that water as a human right. By acknowledging a human right to water and expressing the willingness to meet this right for those currently deprived of it, the water community would have a useful tool for addressing one of the most fundamental failures of 20th century development."
The world had previously acknowledged rights to health, well being, food, freedom from political persecution, and much more. But not water and sanitation.