Summary: 1. Introduction. – 2. Ensuring the implementation of the right to general water use. – 3. Features of using coastal protection strips as a prerequisite for implementing the right to general water use. – 4. The practice of resolving disputes regarding the right to protect general water use in Ukraine and abroad. – 5. Concluding Remarks.
Background: The extraction and use of natural resources are reasons for environmental problems all over the world. The article examines one environmental right – the right to general water use, and its interrelation with the use of coastal protection strips (water fund lands), as well as specific problems of judicial practice in terms of protecting this right. There is a direct or indirect interrelation between utilised natural objects when confirming the environmental rights of citizens at the level of current national legislation, who are given the opportunity to use natural resources to meet their own needs and be in a harmonious state with the environment as much as possible. Such an interrelation is also reflected in cases of general water use, which is impossible without involving the use of water fund lands, namely coastal protective strips.
Methods: With the help of scientific methods, the article uses and analyses international acts, data of international organizations, conclusions of scientists, and legal scientific literature. The legal regulation for using coastal protection strips as a prerequisite for exercising the right to general water use has been investigated within the framework of a systemic approach, as well as analysis and synthesis.
Results and Conclusions: It is concluded that the lack of physical access to water bodies and non-compliance with the requirements regarding the proper water quality in water bodies, unfortunately, does not allow for the implementation of the right to general water use either properly or without harming the life and health of citizens.
It is noted that in most instances, the result of court case consideration regarding protection of the right to general water use was the refusal to satisfy the claims due to the lack of reasoning and proper argumentation by the claimants, and to hold the decision against them. Claimants have to overcome a number of difficulties in order for their evidence to be recognised by the court as reliable and well-founded. The presence of certain deficiencies in the normative legal acts regarding the right to general water use plays a major role in this process.
In order to solve the aforementioned problems and improve water legislation, appropriate proposals in the form of changes and additions to the general provisions of the Water Code of Ukraine have been argued and proposed.