Laudato Si 27-28: Water

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. Section II of Chapter One treats the matter of water.

27. Other indicators of the present situation have to do with the depletion of natural resources. We all know that it is not possible to sustain the present level of consumption in developed countries and wealthier sectors of society, where the habit of wasting and discarding has reached unprecedented levels. The exploitation of the planet has already exceeded acceptable limits and we still have not solved the problem of poverty.

Many of us take the availability of water for granted. It is always available at our taps at multiple locations in our homes, schools, and businesses. We have varieties bottled for our consumption. But this is not true everywhere on the planet. Even if climate shifts were not occurring, water itself might be a topic for papal scrutiny.

28. 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. 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, and at critical moments these have not always been administered with sufficient oversight and impartiality. 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. Some countries have areas rich in water while others endure drastic scarcity.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to Laudato Si 27-28: Water

  1. FrMichael says:

    A point very much on the mind of Californians as we struggle through this drought. However, I had already experienced the reality of scarce drinking water in my sojourns in the Middle East and Mexico. And it definitely affects the poor more than the rich.

  2. FrMichael says:

    Max, there is plenty of water around these parts: it’s called the Pacific Ocean. We just have to get our leadership to get off their duffs and start building desalination plants.

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