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Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics

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ESEP 17:41-50 (2017)  -  DOI:

Issues of water in India and the Health Capability Paradigm

Rhyddhi Chakraborty*

Department of Philosophy and Global Health, American University of Sovereign Nations, Scottsdale, AZ 85250, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Water, a finite natural resource, is vital for the generation, sustenance and flourishing of all life forms. Rampant use and misuse of water make it a depleting natural resource. Consequently, conflicts and stresses have emerged involving the availability, accessibility, and quality of water. The shortage of water has also contributed to the spread of waterborne diseases. The crisis of availability and accessibility of quality water and the emergence and prevalence of these waterborne diseases have pushed some groups and individuals to suffer more than others. This disparate impact has contributed to inequities—especially health inequities—by failing to prevent the avoidable impacts of water shortage and waterborne disease on the health of individuals and groups. Considering this fact, the central argument of this paper is that water-related inequities are actually inequities caused at the level of health capabilities of groups and individuals. To address such inequities, this paper suggests that there is a need for a new foundation of water ethics because the existing frameworks fail to capture and address water-related inequities that are caused at the level of health capabilities. With a focus on India, this paper then argues that the new water ethics can be founded on Jennifer Prah Ruger’s social justice theory of the ‘Health Capability Paradigm (HCP)’. This paper then identifies and recommends some desirable changes to be made in the implementation of Indian water policy.

KEY WORDS: Ethics · Health Capability · India · Social Justice · Water

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Cite this article as: Chakraborty R (2017) Issues of water in India and the Health Capability Paradigm. Ethics Sci Environ Polit 17:41-50.

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