World Water Week, held every year since 1991, traditionally meets in Stockholm, hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute, to discuss the world's water problems and find innovative solutions and forge partnerships.
This year over 10,000 participants are attending from a record 170 countries.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Water Network is a prominent voice, contributing to the discourse on water and faith, which focuses on how to tap the potential of the faith actors and their contributions to address the global water crisis. Dozens of workshops are focusing on how faith-based organizations engage in water justice issues.
One such event, “Water and faith city walk: Values of water,” highlighted the intrinsic value of water and its essential role and relevance in all aspects of life. In an interreligious city walk, participants visited different religious places in Stockholm through a lens of relevance and values associated with water. Faith leaders presented and demonstrated water rituals and the cultural and spiritual value of water.
Rev. Henrik Grape, a member of the Swedish Cluster Group on water and faith and WCC senior advisor on climate justice, referred to a recently issued statement by the cluster, saying, “Water is fundamental for all life on earth. Our lives are interconnected and leaning on a healthy ecosystem, especially water. We have one home—mother earth—which provides us food, water and air to sustain us. We need to share our resources in a more just and equitable way with each other for our common home’s sustainability.”
The coordinator of the WCC Ecumenical Water Network, Dinesh Suna, said, “I am appreciative of the initiative on water and faith at World Water Week, where different faiths come together to draw the linkages of water in their faith traditions.”
He also highlighted the role of young people in addressing the water crisis and the role of WCC in capacitating young people through Eco-Schools.
In another workshop, the WCC Ecumenical Water Network, with Swiss Church Aid, UNICEF and others, introduced an intuitive tool they have developed to tell the story of urban water flows. The tool can enable a more sustainable urban water management, advocate for the human right to water and sanitation and foster collaboration between various water actors.