On November 22, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN gave an intervention during the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on “Maintenance of international peace and security: water, peace and security.”
In its statement, the Holy See said that with expanding deserts, deforestation, increasing droughts, mismanagement, misallocation, waste, pollution, and ever great demand for water by agriculture and industry, everyone should be concerned about potential calamities from a diminished or contaminated water supply. Pope Francis has noted that water scarcity is “a grave problem that can lead to war.” The Holy See underlined that access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right and that we must ensure that the poor in particular have access to it. Water-related challenges to peace and security, however, can lead to collaboration for solutions to the scarcity, such as water conservation, wiser consumption, new technology, and more efficient allocation. The solutions are not just technical, economic, political and social, but also ethical.
The statement can be found here.