Who Gets Water? Governance Failures & Persistent Drinking Water and Sanitation Issues


  • Shakeel Hayat Assistant Professor, Center for Water Informatics & Climate Resilience (CWC), IMSciences, Hayatabad, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
  • Hameed Jamali Assistant Professor, Center for Water Informatics & Climate Resilience (CWC), IMSciences, Hayatabad, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
  • Muhammad Zakria Jan Research Assistant, Center for Water Informatics & Climate Resilience (CWC), IMSciences, Hayatabad, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
  • Yamna Ihtisham Research Assistant, Center for Water Informatics & Climate Resilience (CWC), IMSciences, Hayatabad, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.




Access, Allocation, Water Supply, Sanitation, Governance, Institutions


he sustainable provision of potable water and sanitation services presents a multitude of fundamental challenges concerning access and allocation. These challenges extend beyond water resources themselves, encompassing the allocation of rights, responsibilities, and associated risks. Disparities in water supply and sanitation services are stark, both geographically and socioeconomically. A thorough analysis requires examining the international governance instruments that guide access, the property rights frameworks that dictate allocation, and the scales at which these rights and frameworks operate. Additionally, the responsibilities vested in various authorities and stakeholders must be scrutinized. Water insecurity, particularly with respect to drinking water and sanitation, is not solely attributable to natural phenomena. This paper presents a literature review (2008-2023) encompassing research from the Earth Systems Governance community and beyond, focusing on water supply services and sanitation. Access and allocation were interpreted broadly, encompassing issues of inclusive development, justice, sustainability, and additional themes identified through the review process. The findings suggest a significant role for governments in facilitating access and allocation, with failures in these areas leading to long-term consequences. This will necessitate a holistic approach that considers water access and allocation alongside interconnected issues like sanitation, development, climate change, energy, and food security, all within a multi-level governance framework.


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Author Biography

  • Shakeel Hayat, Assistant Professor, Center for Water Informatics & Climate Resilience (CWC), IMSciences, Hayatabad, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.


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How to Cite

Hayat, S., Jamali, H., Jan, M. Z., & Ihtisham, Y. (2024). Who Gets Water? Governance Failures & Persistent Drinking Water and Sanitation Issues. Qlantic Journal of Social Sciences, 5(2), 201-214. https://doi.org/10.55737/qjss.517901420

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