The U.N. General Assembly declared in July 2010 that access to clean water and sanitation is an essential human right, calling on states and organizations to help provide access for the 884 million people currently without safe drinking water and the more than 2.6 billion people without basic sanitation. In the past, public-private partnerships -- agreements between governments and water companies for the private operation of publicly owned water systems -- were heralded as a solution to meeting this crucial need. However, evidence is mounting that private control of water services can actually stand in the way of the human right to water more than it can help achieve it. Although private utility management in itself may not constitute a violation of the right to water, as Violeta Petrova noted in the Brooklyn Journal of International Law, "[T]he particular circumstances in which privatization is carried out might give rise to substantative and procedural violations of the right to water." Unfortunately, these circumstances are met all too often.