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e-Pública: Revista Eletrónica de Direito Público

On-line version ISSN 2183-184X


SOUSA, Simão Mendes de. “The Social Tariff as a guarantee of accessibility and universality of the right to water”. e-Pública [online]. 2019, vol.6, n.1, pp.167-191. ISSN 2183-184X.

The right to water was recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in July 2010 as a Fundamental Human Right. It can be understood, from its internationally established content, that it must be accessible to the general population, at least in its minimum core. This idea does not imply that the scarcity of the natural resource, its qualification as an economic good, and the necessary investment in quality-assuring infrastructures do not require the establishment of a water tariff. However, this rate may be reduced according to the customer’s purchasing power. Decree-Law no. 147/2017 of 5 December established the access to the social water tariff in order to guarantee the satisfaction of the Right to Water, therefore allowing its universality and accessibility. This paper analyses how this Decree simultaneously ensures access to water in a universal, equitable and egalitarian way, but also regulates the efficiency of the consumption of this scarce natural resource.

Keywords : Fundamental Human Right; Right to Water; Tariff; Social Tariff; Universality.

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