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World Water Day Statement from Bishop Michael Pfeifer, OMI

February 12th, 2024

(Originally Published at OMIUSA.ORG)

Water for Peace

Bishop Michael Pfeifer, OMI
Bishop Michael Pfeifer, OMI

The annual World Water Day is celebrated on March 22nd, 2024. This day focuses on the gratitude we owe our great God for the life-giving gift of water, which is necessary for all life as we know it on planet Earth. This is a day of thanksgiving, and for each and all on planet Earth to examine how we are using, or perhaps, sadly abusing and wasting this wonderful gift, individually, in our families, in each and every community, and at a local, state, and national level. World Water Day is a United Nations (UN) observance coordinated by UN Water. Every year, it raises awareness of a major water related issue and inspires action to tackle the water and sanitation crisis. World Water Day is one of two special ecology days, the other being Earth Day which is celebrated in April. While each is celebrated separately, there is a natural and essential connection between the two as water is a main component of planet Earth.

Two Special Ecology Days

Pope Francis in two major statements on the environment brings out how these two ecology days focus on our Common Home, planet Earth and reminds us that the web of life is one. These two special creation days celebrate the beauty and wonder of God’s creation which has its origin in a plan of love and truth. This love in nature surrounds us and is nothing more and nothing less than God’s work of art, the divine gallery.

Water for Peace

The theme for this year’s World Water Day as given to us by UN Water is “Leveraging water for peace and prosperity” Put simply, World Water Day is called “Water for Peace”. As we review history, we readily see that water can create peace or spark conflict. When water is scarce or polluted, or when people have unequal or no access, tensions can rise between communities and countries. UN reminds us that more than 3 billion people worldwide depend on water that crosses national borders. Yet, out of 153 countries that share rivers, lakes, and aquifers with their neighbors, only 24 countries report having cooperation agreements for all their shared water.

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