By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis called for clean drinking water and sanitation for all on Sunday, remarking on how clean water is something “too many of our brothers and sisters do not have access to.”
Speaking after the Angelus prayer, the Pope looked ahead to the annual observance of World Water Day marked each year on 22 March.
“Tomorrow is World Water Day, which invites us to reflect on the value of this wonderful and irreplaceable gift of God. For us believers ‘sister’ water is not a commodity: it is a universal symbol and a source of life and health," he said.
Highlighting the fact that so many people across the world have little access to water, which is perhaps even polluted, the Pope said: “It is necessary to ensure drinking water and sanitation to all.”
A call to action
The Pope went on to thank and encourage those, who through their different professional capacities and responsibilities “work for this very important purpose.”
He highlighted the example of Argentina’s University Institute for Water and Sanitation, located in The Palace of Water in Buenos Aires which aims to be a significant player in Water and Sanitation education in the country and the region.
“I think of those,” the Pope continued, “who work to carry this work forward” and raise awareness regarding the importance of water: “Thank you very much to you Argentines who work in this Water University!”
World Water Day 2021
World Water Day, which falls on 22 March, celebrates water and raises awareness of the global water crisis. A core focus of the observance is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.
The theme of World Water Day 2021 is valuing water: “The value of water is about much more than its price – water has enormous and complex value for our households, food, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment. If we overlook any of these values, we risk mismanaging this finite, irreplaceable resource. SDG 6 is to ensure water and sanitation for all. Without a comprehensive understanding of water’s true, multidimensional value, we will be unable to safeguard this critical resource for the benefit of everyone.”