World Water Day is commemorated annually on March 22nd as a way of concentrating efforts to resolve the water crisis that afflicts people, often the poorest, around the world. His Holiness Pope Francis marked the Day on Friday with a message to the Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, José Graziano da Silva. The theme for the 2019 World Water Day is “Leaving no one behind”.
As reported by Vatican news, The Pontiff said, “Water is an essential asset for the equilibrium of ecosystems and human survival, and it must be managed and cared for so that it is not polluted or lost.” His Holiness Pope Francis noted how aridity and droughts are spreading to new regions, leading to a lack of potable water for more and more people. “Leaving no one behind”, he said, involves both maintaining water structures and “investing in the future, educating new generations for the use and care of water.”
The Pontiff said younger generations need “to value and defend” access to water, saying efforts should begin with raising awareness among those who suffer the consequences of climate change. His Holiness Pope Francis invited the international community to provide financing for long-term water projects in places where it is lacking. His Holiness Pope Francis ended his message with a quotation from St. Francis of Assisi: “May ‘water, which is very useful, humble, precious, and chaste’ serve to sustain and benefit us and future generations.”