We know that water is essential to all life on earth. In fact, human beings can only live for three days without water.
Yet, I think most of us take water for granted. We expect water to come out of our taps when we turn them on. We may experience some dry weather in summer in Wisconsin, but for the most part we have plenty of water to meet our needs.
That is not true in many parts of the world and even in some parts of the United States.
March 22 was observed as World Water Day. I have to admit that March 22 went by without my awareness of that day, until I read an article on Catholic News Service (CNS) with the headline, "World faces pressing need to protect water, Vatican official tells U.N."
The Vatican's permanent observer to the United Nations -- Archbishop Bernardito Auza -- called on all nations to recognize the responsibility to care for and share water, because it is a life-sustaining resource.
He spoke on World Water Day to call attention to the need for universal access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities in developing countries.
Access to water, hygiene
CNS reported that WaterAid, a London-based international organization that helps communities access clean water and proper hygiene, said about 633 million people -- nearly 10 percent of the world's population -- cannot get the water they need.
"Access to safe drinking water is a basic human right and a condition for sustainable development," said Archbishop Auza. "Thus, it needs to be put front and center in public policy."
Pope Francis, too, told a conference held at the Vatican on water that we must "protect water as a treasure belonging to everyone."
All of us should be conscious of the importance of water and water conservation. For more information, go to www.worldwaterday.org and make every day Water Day.