Spiritual and Ethical Values of Water: A faith perspective

On March 22 all over the world people observe World Water Day. This year’s theme is Valuing Water. To explore this issue deeper the WCC Ecumenical Water Network is organizing a webinar with the office of the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Right to Water and Sanitation, Prof. Pedro Arrojo-Agudo.

a man sails through a river in a small boat

Water means different things to different people. Unfortunately, in today’s market driven trend, the economic value of water supersedes the spiritual and ethical values of water. As church and faith-based organisations, it is our moral imperative to ensure that water for life gets the priority over water for profit.

Recently water was listed on the wall streets for the future water market as a tradable commodity, like oil and gold.  Those who has the money can buy the water and control the access and tariff. This can jeopardise the human right to water from the poor, marginalised and vulnerable communities, including the smallholding farmers.

Various faith representatives will share, what does water mean to them according to their religion?  Several pressing questions related to water for life, including the following will be dealt with:

  1. How can we attribute price to a priceless resource, such as water? The spiritual and ethical arguments to prevent such a move.
  2. How can we prioritise water usage that sustains life over commercial use of water for profit.
  3. How can faith based organisations help protect water from speculative future markets

A joint statement by faith communities on water for life with its spiritual and ethical significance will be issued along with the office of the UN Special Rapporteur,  as an outcome of the event.

Please register for the event here: https://forms.gle/h3bGtfN1QqLf8ABPA

Draft Programme

Welcome and Intro:  Moderator, Mr Dinesh Suna, Coordinator, WCC-EWN

Keynote address:  Prof. Pedro Arrojo-Agudo, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Right to Water and Sanitation

Panel discussion "Valuing Water: A faith perspective"
Christian Perspective:
Bishop Arnold Temple, Chair of WCC-EWN and President, AACC
Rev Dr Rachel Mash, environmental coordinator of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa               

Hindu Perspective:
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Secretary General, GIWA
Kiran Bali, Chair, United Religions Initiative (URI)

Muslim Perspective:
Dr Husna Ahmad, CEO, Global One, UK

Jewish Perspective:
Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, The Netherlands

Comments and Questions  from participants
Joint action: An interfaith statement on valuing water
Closing Remarks

speakers of EWN webinar