While the United States faces a major environmental backslide under President-elect Donald Trump, a small central European nation has become the first to enshrine the right to drinking water in their constitution. The new amendment to Slovenia‘s constitution states that drinkable water is a human right. Largely to prevent the commercialization of the country’s water resources, the Slovenian parliament just voted in favor of the new law. Prime Minister Miro Cerar, in favor of the amendment, described water as “the 21st century’s liquid gold.”
“Everyone has the right to drinkable water,” Slovenia’s constitution now says. “Water resources represent a public good that is managed by the state. Water resources are primary and durably used to supply citizens with potable water and households with water and, in this sense, are not a market commodity.”
The new law wasn’t without some controversy; the Slovenian Democratic party, which leans center-right according to The Guardian, felt the law wasn’t necessary, that it was put forward only to gain public approval, so they did not vote. There were 64 votes for and zero against the new law. There are 90 seats in Slovenia’s parliament.
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