Arrojo-Agudo noted that the ongoing climate change will exacerbate the crisis, and insisted on the need to address two main challenges. “The first is to make peace with our rivers and other aquatic systems,” he said. “The second main challenge is to promote democratic governance of water understood as a common good accessible to all.”
Rev. Dr Kenneth Mtata, WCC director of Public Witness and Diakonia, acknowledged that Arrojo-Agudo brought a very important introduction to the water crisis. Mtata reflected on how water is not only important for religious practices—such as baptisms—but also that religious communities play an important role in ensuring that water is regarded as a human right, not a commodity.
“What is the place of private actors?” Mtata asked. “What is the role of the relationships between private actors and governments?”
Dr Maude Barlow, founder of Blue Community, Canada, offered a history of the Blue Community movement, which began within Canadian municipalities. She described the principles of a Blue Community: recognizing that water is a human right; advocating that water services should remain in the hands of public authorities; saying “no” to bottled water where tap water is safe to drink; and promoting public-public-partnerships models to address water scarcity.
The event was organized by the World Council of Churches, International Partnership on Religion and Development, Lutheran World Federation, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and World Evangelical Alliance.