Did You Know?
- Access to safe water is considered a human right, and is the explicit focus of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Adequate access to safe water helps to reduce the risk of diseases like the novel coronavirus.
- The minimum amount of water the UN Refugee Agency aims to provide to every refugee is 20 litres (about 5 gallons) daily, to be used for all needs—e.g. washing, cooking, and drinking. It rarely reaches this mark. For context, the average North American uses 302-378 litres (80-100 gallons) per day.
- Climate events such as droughts are significant drivers of displacement.
- “Safe water…reduces tensions and helps build peaceful coexistence.”
- Global water scarcity and water pollution torment the lives of human refugees and force animals and plants to migrate, too. Lack of safe water also contributes to the daily loss of our plant and animal species—Over 150 species go extinct each day.
What Can You Do?
- Believe that any small action for justice really counts and commit to one habit that will help end water scarcity and pollution—taking a shorter shower and purchasing used clothing are examples.
- Donate to the AMSSND/Beyond Borders Water Initiative
- Donate to WASH, UNICEF’s Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene program
- Learn more about the economic, social, health, and educational impact of water scarcity
- Renew your commitment as a member of a Blue Community—use bottled water only in emergency situations.
- Renew your efforts to end climate crises that foster floods, extreme storms, heat waves and droughts, which, in turn, cause forceable displacement of humans and species extinction. Click here for everyday ideas!
- Ponder the great mystery of how you and water are intimately interconnected and that up to 60% of you is actually comprised of water. Live and pray out of this sacramental mystery each day. You might use this prayer resource.
- As you drink a glass of water, cook, shower, or brush your teeth, be grateful for the gift of “Sister Water.”
“Come, all you who are thirsty. …” —Isaiah 55:1
Loving God, we ask for Your blessings on children, mothers, fathers, and communities who are thirsty. Purify, protect, and multiply their water sources. Strengthen their resolve so they may fully enjoy the benefits of clean water — essentials like education, gardens of fresh produce, and good health.
Loving God, send your Spirit to rekindle my efforts for justice when the work becomes discouraging, overwhelming, seemingly fruitless, or in vain. “Oh Lord, I believe; help Thou my unbelief” when change seems impossible. This I pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.