NY Votes to Enshrine Right to Water and Healthful Environment in State Constitution

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Clean Water

For Immediate Release


Last night, New Yorkers overwhelmingly voted to enshrine the right to water and a healthful environment in the state constitution. As communities across the state struggle with PFAS contamination, lead pipes and unaffordable service, the new amendment paves the way for greater state efforts to ensure the safety of drinking water and access to essential water services. With the vote Tuesday, New York joins states like Virginia and Pennsylvania in formally recognizing the human right to water.

In response, Food & Water Watch Northeast Region Director Alex Beauchamp issued the following statement:

“Water is a human right, but New York’s policies don’t ensure access to this essential resource. Statewide, communities are moving to take over public control of their water utilities, removing them from corporate control and abuse. Communities are pushing back on PFAS and lead contamination in drinking water, demanding stricter regulations, testing and cleanup. And households statewide are grappling with unaffordable water service and water debt.

With the right to water codified in our state constitution, it’s time to get to work putting control of this most critical resource into the hands of the people, it’s time to clean up New York’s drinking water and it’s time to cancel water debt and make water service affordable for every person.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]