Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach

The Source of all Life

September 3, 2013

  Elizabeth Nye

Recently, my house had a water main break. It’s an older house with pipes that obviously needed replacing. Fortunately, my roommates and I were blessed with the means to repair the main, but that meant living without running water for a few days.  In this case, the old saying is true; you really don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

For some throughout the world, not having running water is a reality of everyday life. Right now, 783 million people live without access to clean water and 2.5 billion live without proper sanitation. Much of this is attributed to an ever changing climate, which leads to a shift in where water is available. Rural communities have had to adapt to gathering water from miles away, which means that women and girls must abandon their education, employment, and families to venture to retrieve it. There is a serious need for the development of water sources in these areas throughout the world.

In 2005, the Paul Simon Water for the World act increased access to clean water and sanitation. This year, Congress has an opportunity to reauthorize this life saving legislation.  The bi-partisan reauthorization bill in the House of Representatives will ensure that the water and sanitation programs funded since 2005 are meeting the needs of people throughout the world through monitoring and evaluation.

Pope Benedict XVI recognized in his 2009 encyclical, Caritas en Veritate that water as an essential component to all human life, “It is necessary to cultivate a public conscience that considers access to water and universal rights of all human beings, without distinction or discrimination.” Water, as the basis for all life on earth, is an essential component to our well-being. The Water for the World Act has the potential to enhance many lives throughout the world that do not have access to this absolutely necessary life source. Please send a letter to your Representative asking her or him to co-sponsor the Water for the World Act of 2013.