Each year more than one billion of our fellow human beings have little choice but to resort to using potentially harmful sources of water. This causes a silent humanitarian crisis that kills some 3,900 children every day. Nearly two in ten people in the world have no source of safe drinking water.
To address this crisis, the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC) headquartered in Delft, the Netherlands, has established March 22 as World Water Day; the Water for Life Decade started on this day in 2005. Since its foundation in 1968, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC) has facilitated the sharing, promotion and use of knowledge so that governments, professionals, and organisations can better support poor men, women and children in developing countries to obtain water and sanitation services they will use and maintain.
The Ninth Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) has called on churches and ecumenical partners to work together to preserve and protect water resources against over-consumption and pollution. At their last meeting in February, 2006, the Assembly described water as "an integral part of the right to life," adding that "access to freshwater supplies is becoming an urgent matter across of the planet" and "the survival of 1.2 billion people is currently in jeopardy due to lack of adequate water and sanitation."
Take some time today to pray, study, and do something concrete to address this problem. Here are some resources to help.
Our review of Troubled Water by Anita Roddick includes statistics.
Websites & Organizations
The World Water Day website has learning modules, posters, event lists, and more for your observance of this day.
- From Macrina Wiederkehr in Gold in Your Memories:
"Pure, clean, sparkling water. Surely water is one of our healthiest drinks. It is easy to forget, in our thirst, as we gulp down this precious gift that some people don't have pure water. Some water has to be boiled in order to be safe for drinking. Some people have to walk great distances to get the water they need. As we allow ourselves to remember this, it can make us more grateful."
- From Edward Hays in Prayer Notes to a Friend:
"Water is an essential source of life for living things. Water constitutes more than 60% of your body, 90%of your blood, and 80-90% of your muscles. Without water to drink you would die within ten days or less, depending on your activity and temperature. So let water be your new image of your indispensable soul.
"The next time you drink a glass of water, take a shower or bath, or watch it rain, prayerfully ponder water as a vital image of your soul. Consciously use water as a soul symbol, so that even a simple drink of water will become a moist prayer of remembrance of your inner self."
Water is finally being recognized as a living being! Around the world, from the Ganges in India to the Whanganui River in New Zealand, rivers are being recognized as having the same legal rights as people. You are invited to register to watch The Voice of Water, a new UPLIFT film, on March 22, 2018. Here is a preview: