World Water Day – 22nd March, 2022

Mar 22, 2022



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Today, 22nd March, is World Water Day. This year’s theme is Groundwater – making the invisible visible.

Groundwater is invisible, but its impact is visible everywhere.
Out of sight, under our feet, groundwater is a hidden treasure that enriches our lives.
Almost all of the liquid freshwater in the world is groundwater.
As climate change gets worse, groundwater will become more and more critical.
We need to work together to sustainably manage this precious resource.
Groundwater may be out of sight, but it must not be out of mind.

Read more here


Ms Christabel (Prep 4) wrote the lovely poem and provided its explanation below:

Fl-okkażjoni tal-Ġurnata Dinjija Tal-Ilma, il-Prep 4s tal-Iskola Primarja San Alwiġi integraw is-suġġett tal-ilma fil-lezzjoni tat-taħriġ il-fehem tal-Malti.   Temi dwar l-impatt tagħna fuq l-ambjent kif ukoll ir-responsabbiltà ta’ kull wieħed u waħda minna bħala ċittadini globali, wkoll ġew diskussi.

The poem was discussed by the students in class.


Maths lessons on capacity also featured water 🙂


SECONDARY SCHOOL – PE lessons with a difference

This year’s theme ‘Groundwater – Making the Invisible Visible’, draws attention to the hidden water resource that has always been critically important but not fully recognized in sustainable development policymaking.

Mr Godfrey explains the idea behind the interesting awareness initiative organised for our Secondary School students during their PE classes:

Over the coming two weeks, starting the week of the 21st March, a PE lesson with a difference will be taking place at our Secondary School. The event will consist of a relay race competition. Students will be divided into four teams of four/five players each. Each team will need to fill a bucket with 5kg of sand (not water, to avoid waste) from the ‘pool area’, and go round the track to fill the sandpit. Each student will do this three times, therefore travelling around 1.2km. It is important that the bucket is filled till a line marked by Mr Azzopardi so no sand goes on our track. Students will run/walk on the green side of the track.

Following the relay race, a discussion will take place (for example, if they found it heavy, was it tiring, etc?) Students will be informed that there are children, like them, living in third world countries, who sometimes have to travel more than 4km (that is 10 times as much they did in the competition) to source water for their families, sometimes carrying even heavier loads.

Ms Sara, who had visited Kenya, showed the students photos of the children carrying water on their heads. Needless to say, it was a reality check for them!


SIXTH FORM – News update from the Library

The word “water” is cited forty-seven times in Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’.
This demonstrates the great value and concern Pope Francis places on water as a sacred and essential part of life.
“We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7),” the pope says in the second paragraph of Laudato Si’, “our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.”
Take the ONE MINUTE WATER challenge here:
Living in the Generosity of a Water World
Due to its multi-faceted and multi-purpose qualities it will be legitimate to construe water as ‘generous’ – especially as we look into the etymology of ‘generous’. From Latin we have the idea of ‘noble origin’, hence the idea of ‘magnanimity’. From PIE (Proto Indo-European) we get the idea of ‘gene’ which is related to ‘giving birth’ and hence to the more familiar idea of ‘genetics’. Herein lies the munificence of this humble compound – it is a prerequisite for life.
Moreover, creatures are predominantly made out of water. From 60% to 90% of the body mass of humans, fish and plants is water. While it amazes us to think of all life as part of this closed system that we call ‘water cycle’, it becomes clearer to us why we are continuously searching for water on the neighbouring planets in our solar system and beyond. We are ultimately seeking for ourselves transformed in the future us.
A life that is imbued with water and is completely dependent on it, is continuously probing for its availability. In nature, animals, instinctively migrate in order to find water supplies and human nomadism followed the same practice. Evolution catered for xerophyte and hydrophyte plants, while humans evolved a propensity for adaptation enhanced by the power of ‘intelligence’. Likewise, cultures and civilisations thrived and flourished around fresh water supplies.
In spite of its heterogeneity, humanity shows similar attitudes and behaviours towards water. At some point in the history of humankind we started to cogitate about the significance of water in a transcendental manner. Elizabeth McAnally in her book ‘Loving Water Across Religions’ reveals how religions universally embraced this element while transforming it into a powerful symbol with sacramental overtones. Two familiar purification rituals are ‘baptism’ for the Catholics and ‘ablution’ or ‘Wudu’ for the Muslims.
In many civilizations the creator of the Polis concurrently emerged as the engineer who harnessed and managed water with an astonishingly high degree of prowess. In this regard one can mention the 15th century excellent canal irrigation systems of the Inca that put agriculture on another level, and the much lauded 600 B.C.E. Hanging Gardens of Babylon, among many other amazing projects.
Sadly, from these examples of subsistence and opulence, civilizations, and later on, nations and entrepreneurs took on the idea of possessing this priceless resource. This exclusive possession led to harsh conflicts with neighbouring peoples creating a huge sense of social injustice. On the international level we see scores of conflicts, between upstream and downstream users, arising from the building of dams and other interceptions of rivers. Nationally, we encounter the problem of illegal boreholes by farmers and by the industries that use water for their production or extract water from the aquifers to sell it. Moreover, the contamination of the water table with chemicals tends to be on the increase.
A quick glimpse at the internet will give us a picture of how acute the problem of water scarcity around the world is. “Some 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water, and a total of 2.7 billion find water scarce for at least one month of the year”. (WWF – water scarcity). Climate change is drastically worsening the situation. Ironically the least responsible for it are the most affected by it. UNICEF provides us with these dismal key facts:
– Half of the world’s population could be living in areas facing water scarcity by as early as 2025.
– Some 700 million people could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030.
– By 2040, roughly 1 in 4 children worldwide will be living in areas of extremely high-water stress.
On a positive note, humanity started to acknowledge that due to misappropriation, bad management and climate change (anthropogenic or not), we are facing an unprecedented water crisis. In 2012 the ‘World Water Forum’ in Marseille sowed the seed for the 2015 ‘Water Ethics Charter’ which states that:
“The intent of this Charter is to engender water policies and practices that are environmentally sustainable, economically responsible, socially just, respectful of cultural and spiritual diversity and which will help safeguard the welfare of future generations.”
In his 2018 address for the ‘World Day of Prayer for the Care for Creation’, Pope Francis emphasises the accessibility of water as a human right, while reminding us that “there is no ecology without an adequate anthropology” (Laudato Si’, 118). An adequate anthropology is one that reinvents itself in the ‘spirit’ of the ‘Charter’. While we need to continue being creative like the Incas and the Persians we must assume new responsibilities that arise from studies showing that drinking water constitutes less than 1% of the Earth’s water.
As part of SDG6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) the AWA project is implementing fog nets in Ihuanco, Peru, to mitigate water scarcity. Many companies around the world are investing in ‘atmospheric water harvesting’, that by and large works on the dehumidifier principle. Around the Red Sea coast Saudi Arabia is planning to use solar technology to desalinate seawater – a project costing around 500 billion dollars that promises to significantly reduce the environmental impact of the present desalination plants.
Embarking on humble or mega projects to mitigate the water crisis is encouraging. However, we are still in an initial stage of recovery. First, we need to agree with the playwright Rajiv Joseph who in his book ‘Animals out of Paper’ states that “All water is holy water”. In Ecce Homo, Nietzsche, while contemplating the concept of ‘truth’ states that “Water suffices … with me the spirit moves over the water”. However, one might be tempted to think that while water is necessary for life,it is not sufficient to address the water crisis that inhibits life. Along with applying intelligent and rational solutions we might want to embrace a spiritually inspired approach rooted in this biblical verse: “the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters” (Gen 1:2).
Albert Vella, Sixth Form Librarian
May be an image of 1 person, body of water and text that says 'WORLD WATER DAY 22/03/2022 SIXTH FORM LIBRARY LOVING WATER ACROSS RELIGIONS Contributions Integral Water Ethic Safeguarding Water Resources the Maltese Islands Elizabeth McAnally APS DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE ARE 2 BILLION PEOPLE LIVING WITHOUT ACCESS TO SAFE WATER? Speak to the Librarian to borrow this month's featured books:'
Well done to all involved for raising awareness in such original ways!

Communications Officer Administrator
Communications Officer - St Aloysius College Malta

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