Introduction to the Water Problem

This short video describes the issue of fresh water scarcity and offers compelling reasons to care about the global problem.

It might be hard to believe, but the world is running out of fresh water. How could that be possible? Watch this video to find out how this is happening and why you should care.  

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Reflection Through Daily Prayer

Reflect on the Encounter and how it relates to your daily experience.

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To reflect on the Encounter, try a method of prayer that comes from Ignatius of Loyola, a catholic saint. Ignatius was concerned with recognizing the divine in our daily experience, and offered ways to prayer, meditate, and reflect on those experiences. His Examen prayer is focused on our responses to the events of the day. Try using the methods from the Examen to help you reflect on the encounter. (Also, check out the resource - link at the bottom - to learn more about the Examen.)

Keeping in mind the encounter you’ve just experienced, begin listening for what God or the divine is communicating to you. 

Begin by simply considering: 

  • Why has this issue been brought to my attention today?
  • What is going on in my life that makes me receptive to these issues?
  • Why was it presented in this way?

Then, deepen your experience of your encounter through the 3-part spiritual practice based on Ignatius' Examen:

  1. Connections: Think about what you felt the most in tune with. Where did you feel engaged and motivated?
  2. Disconnections: Think about where you experienced the most dissonance. What parts of what you saw made you feel conflicted, overwhelmed, or grief-stricken?
  3. Synthesis: Give thanks for whatever you have experienced, either way. Perhaps ask why you felt this way about the encounter. Find gratitude for the parts that felt aligned with your spirit, as well as for the parts that didn’t. Share your thoughts to a friend or in a journal.

To go deeper, see “The Examen and Global Issues.” 

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Take Action

Cultivate Water Virtue: Conserving Water

You can be a part of the solution - 10 ways to use water in smart and ethical ways.

The global water crisis goes beyond domestic use. In fact, using water in the home for cooking, cleaning, and washing makes up only 8% of fresh water use in the world. But, we're not off the hook. Smart, ethical use of water is a part of the puzzle in addressing the global water crisis. Here are 10 ways you can start being more aware of how you use water. 

  1. When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.
  2. Washing dark clothes in cold water saves water and energy, and helps your clothes retain their color.
  3. Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
  4. Plant in the spring and fall, when the watering requirements are lower.
  5. Designate one glass for your drinking water each day, or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash.
  6. Grab a wrench and fix that leaky faucet. It’s simple, inexpensive, and you can save 140 gallons a week.
  7. Use a commercial car wash that recycles water. Or, wash your car on the lawn, and you’ll water your grass at the same time.
  8. Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.
  9. Post a hotline in bathrooms and kitchens to report leaks or water waste to facility managers or maintenance personnel.
  10. When you give your pet fresh water, don’t throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your trees or shrubs.

More ideas from Water: Use It Wisely.

What are some ways you conserve water?

What are some ways you conserve water?

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