Water has traditionally been treated as a natural right — a right arising out of nature, historic conditions, basic needs, or notions of injustice. Water rights as natural rights do not originate with the state, they evolve out of a given ecological context of human existence.

As natural rights, water rights are usufructory rights, water can be used but not owned. People have a right to life and therefore to the resources that sustain it, including water.

That is why governments and corporations cannot alienate people of their water rights. Water rights come from nature and creation. They flow from the laws of nature, not from the rules of the market.

The Indigenous Peoples' Water Declaration in Troubled Water by Anita Roddick