A woman in Jawani village utilizes a community borehole that was constructed with support from Catholic Relief Services in Ghana.

World Water Resources

Michael Stulman/CRS

Water maintains an important symbolic role in Judeo-Christian scripture, theology, and sacrament, largely because our faith arose in a land where water was particularly scarce. For much of the world, that situation is their daily reality, with access and rights to life-giving water severely limited.

With water so crucial not only to our daily nutrition, but to our health and sanitation, it is a challenge to our Christian consciences to consider that nearly one billion people lack access to it.

Such is the importance of water in our physical spiritual lives that the Church places among the Corporal Works of Mercy: “To give drink to the thirsty.” CRS invites you to use these resources and share them with your Catholic communities: to learn more about Catholic teaching with regard to water, learn what the Church is doing to reach out communities who lack water, and learn what you can do to give drink to the thirsty today.

  • Drop by Drop is a children’s book from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Loyola Press with colorful pictures and an engaging story that helps children understand important lessons about how to help those in need.
  • I Was Thirsty and You Gave Me to Drink is a photo slideshow presentation that features images of issues communities face when accessing water as well as how CRS helps people overcome them.
  • Water Is Life: Dignity of the Human Person is a 1–1.5 hour module for family catechesis about the Catholic social teaching principle of the Life and Dignity of the Human Person. This interactive session uses the example of access to clean water to invite families to reflect on how they can live out the Church’s teaching on the dignity of the human person.
  • Tanzania’s Handwashing Generation is video featuring Filomena, a 13-year-old girl from Tanzania, passing on lessons about hygiene and sanitation to her siblings and parents.
  • Agua para la vida: Brasil. En este video, podemos ver cómo los proyectos de CRS apoyan a los pequeños agricultores y sus familias en Brasil a lograr acceso no sólo al agua, sino también a la tierra.