The Issue of Water

Water is a natural resource vital for the survival of humanity and all species on earth. As a good of Creation, water is destined for all human beings and their communities. Fresh drinking water is an issue of primary importance, since it is indispensable for human life and for supporting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Sources of fresh water are necessary for health care, agriculture and industry. Human beings and the communities, in which they live, cannot do without water since it corresponds to their primary needs and constitutes a basic condition of their existence. Water supplies used to be relatively constant, but now in many places demand exceeds the sustainable supply, with dramatic consequences in the short and long term. Large cities dependent on significant supplies of water have experienced periods of shortage. Water poverty especially affects Africa, where large sectors of the population have no access to safe drinking water or experience droughts which impede agricultural production. Every day, unsafe water results in many deaths and the spread of water-related diseases, including those caused by micro-organisms and chemical substances. Some 1.8 million children die each year from diarrhoea as they have no access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.

Those of us who, live in countries where clean water is readily available at the flick of a tap cannot fully appreciate the importance of this resource. Pope Francis in Laudato Si 30 says “that our world has a grave social debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking water. This debt can be paid partly by an increase in funding to provide clean water and sanitary services among the poor. But water continues to be wasted.

What can we do to conserve water? Public awareness of the need to better manage and protect water has grown over the last decade or more, but economic criteria and political considerations still tend to drive water policy at all levels.

Ways to save water Check your toilet for leaks. Install Low or Dual Flush Models. Take shorter showers. Install water-saving shower heads or flow restrictors. Turn off water while washing your teeth. Use dishwasher and washing machine for full loads. Keep a bottle of drinking water in fridge as this, stops the wasteful practice of running tap water to cool it for drinking. Recycle water where you can. Collect the cold water you run before it’s hot to shower and use to water plants. Harvest rainwater for watering Vegetable or flower beds. You might like to share other ideas with us.

*Sincere apologies for all the mistakes in last week’s Bulletin the correct version will appear in next week’s Bulletin.