It is well settled in international human rights law that a human right to water exists. Nevertheless, to date, there has been little scholarship about what the practical contours of the right should be. If legal tools are to benefit the world’s poor and disenfranchised, they cannot be void due to the impossibility of implementation. This is the problem with the purported human right to water: it is quixotic.
This Article proposes a pragmatic solution to the potable water problem for the world’s poor. The solution offered here is based on a model of privatized access to water grounded in a microfinancing paradigm that is in turn founded on a loan program incorporated into the New Deal’s Rural Electrification Act. The proposed paradigm therefore sidesteps the rights-based scheme by resting upon a more concrete foundation based on measurable results (i.e., the number of the world’s 2.2 billion people who lack potable water that will obtain access to water versus the number that will not).