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Pope on World Water Day: No to water wars, abuse and waste

Marking World Water Day Pope Francis reminds us that water is a primary necessity that must never be wasted, abused or serve as grounds for war.

By Linda Bordoni

22 March marks World Water Day, an annual observance that celebrates this primary need and raises awareness of the 2 billion people living without access to safe water.

“Water,” Pope Francis said, “must never be the object of waste or abuse, or provide the grounds for war, but must be preserved for our benefit and that of future generations.”

Speaking during the weekly General Audience, the Pope recalled the words of St. Francis of Assisi’ in his ode to creation, Laudato sì: “Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Water, who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.”

In these simple words, he said “we feel the beauty of creation and the awareness of the challenges involved in caring for it.”

The Pope noted that the second UN Water Conference is taking place at the United Nations headquarters in New York in these days.

2023 UN Water Summit

Thousands of delegates will attend the three-day Water Summit that begins on Wednesday.

“I pray for the success of the work and hope that the important event will accelerate initiatives in favour of those who suffer from the scarcity of water, this primary good,” he said.

Ahead of the opening of the major UN water summit, a United Nations report warns of a looming global water crisis and an imminent risk of shortages due to overconsumption and climate change.

The report describes the world as “blindly travelling a dangerous path” of “vampiric overconsumption and overdevelopment.”

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