January 26, 2015: Clean Water

~by Susi Pittman

Clean water IS the basic necessity of all living beings, creatures and plant life on the Earth. In developed countries it can be taken for granted, whereas in third world countries it is considered a treasure. 740 million people on this planet lack access to good clean water. Diarrhea caused by inadequate drinking water, sanitation, and hand hygiene kills an estimated 842,000 people every year globally, or approximately 2,300 people per day.

So, this past week, as I was elected the president of Friends of the Ichetucknee Springs State Park the thoughts of clean water were paramount in the back of my mind. This beautiful spring reflects much of what is right about stewardship of water.

The participation of individuals, farmers, businesses and local government within the Ichetucknee River basin directly influences the quality of water that boils up out of the spring itself. The Ichetucknee (which in ancient native American tongue means pond of the beaver) was declared a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1972, one of 600 such designations nationwide. It was from that time forward, that the six mile stretch of the IchetuckneeSprings and it’s river through oak hammocks and wetlands has been fervently cared for by the rangers of the Florida State Parks system.

I know how important clean water means to our people, agriculture and quality of life in this area. I think of the 740 million people who live without just this basic quality of life and I feel compelled to be involved in advocating for those less fortunate.

Catholic Relief Services is my go-to organization where they believe every day is world water day! They have a CLEAN WATER program that addresses the needs of the many all around the globe, not just in Africa. You can be sure that 92% of your donations are used to assist.

I would encourage you to consider supporting this program with a donation. Imagine the joy that our brothers and sisters will share just by being able to drink without getting sick and to wash their hands clean.

As Jesus is the Bearer of the Water of Life, we can assist in this life by also being the bearers of the water FOR life.

Lord of all good gifts, the woman at the well drew water for You. And You in turn
promised her living water, life-giving water. It would be fresh and clean. It would
be sustaining. It would bring life. And she believed You. Weary of a life of sin and
struggle, she believed in Your good news. And she shared this good news with
everyone around her.
Like the woman at the well, help us to be bearers of good news for the poor. Just
as we have carried this water as a reminder of the weight and labor of poverty,
help us to carry Your word to those who need it. Help us to carry Your message of
justice, Your example of peace, And Your great gift of mercy.
And when we have a moment to ourselves, help us to hand our burdens over to
You and to rest awhile in your loving presence.

Susi Pittman is founder of CatholicStewardsofCreation.com and Owner-President of Twin Oaks Publishing; she is author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!; an advocate for the Florida Catholic Conference; a member of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Council of Women in Jacksonville, Florida; an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Augustine;a member of the Florida Publishers Association, Independent Book Publishers Association, the National Association of Professional Women, the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Audubon society.

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