Though it is patently obvious that, in certain situations, measures intended to realize aspects of the emerging human right to water and sanitation (hereafter human right to water) might come into confl ict with objectives of environmental protection, and thus with measures intended to pursue such objectives, neither the various declaratory instruments nor the vast majority of the academic literature driving the discourse on the human right to water appear ready to address this issue.1 Taking General Comment No. 15, adopted by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) in November 2002,2 as the most authoritative analysis of the normative content of the emerging human right to water, one can clearly see that, while environmental protection is inherent to ensuring the availability of suffi cient and adequate water for human needs, the approach taken is by defi nition anthropocentric rather than ecocentric, and the extent of the entitlements advocated therein may compete with ecological requirements for water resources. This potential tension is most apparent in respect of the purported obligation to provide water for livelihoods and where a narrow understanding of the right to sanitation might be adopted. This chapter sets out to examine the nature of the environmental protection elements included within the elaboration on the human right to water under General Comment No. 15 and explore the potential for both complementarity and tension as between social and environmental objectives. In addition, it seeks to examine the possibilities for reconciling the requirements of the human right to water and of environmental protection both under international and national law, as well as to explore the need for better integration of the potentially competing social and environmental values inherent to water resources law.