Register FREE: TED Circle - (like a book club where you don't have to read the book) Why lakes and rivers should have the same rights as humans Water is essential to life. Yet in the eyes of the law, it remains largely unprotected -- leaving many communities without access to safe drinking water, says legal scholar Kelsey Leonard. In this powerful talk, she shows why granting lakes and rivers legal "personhood" -- giving them the same legal rights as humans -- is the first step to protecting our bodies of water and fundamentally transforming how we value this vital resource.