Water Justice Resources

Water Justice Resources for Individuals and Congregations

We hope you find this list of resources useful in planning your 2011 Earth Day activities, the 40/40 for Earth Challenge, and future water justice projects. Here is a printable version (Word) (PDF) of the resource list without the links.

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UU Resources

Gather the Spirit Richard S. (Rick) Kimball and Christine. T. Rafal, E.D.: an eight-session, multigenerational Tapestry of Faith program that teaches stewardship with a focus on water.

The Right to Water – Five Covenant Group Gatherings – Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC): small ministry group discussion module about the human right to water. Learn more about the international human right to water, one of UUSC’s four focus areas, on its Website, including a Right to Water Fact Sheet and other information in the resources link.

Climate and Water Justice Webpage – Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California (UULMC): has lots of information and links, including worship resources. Scroll about two-thirds down the page for a great water song sung to the tune of This Land Is Your Land.

UU World Family Page – the Summer 2010 four-page insert is all about water, stewardship, and justice.

Toolbox of Faith Session 9: Spirit of Life – in this Tapestry of Faith curriculum for grades 4-6, children discover what aspects of UU faith are helpful to them, developing a toolbox of faith. In Session 9, water symbolizes the Spirit of Life and participants explore the idea of the Spirit of Life as a part of everything fluid and pervasive, like water. The session includes a Water Communion.

UU Worship Web – a search for “water” on the Worship Web yielded three pages of results. Although many are geared towards ingathering/water ceremony services, several would work equally well for a water justice service. Here is a sampling: a Water Blessing; the story of Higgins: a Drop With a Dream; All Rivers Run To the Sea (closing words); first stanza of Drops of God meditation; and several sermons, Oil on the Water: a Lament, The Rocky Shores of Memory, and Healing the Gulf.

Water Justice Taizé Ritual – Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC): this Taizé water ritual is an opportunity to witness the power of water in our lives. It is perfect for a worship service.    

Water Hymns – In Singing the Living Tradition

  • #4, “I Brought My Spirit to the Sea”
  • #24, “Far Rolling Voices”
  • #60, “In Time of Silver Rain”
  • #100, “I’ve Got Peace Like a River”
  • #108, “My Life Flows On in Endless Song”
  • #121, “We’ll Build a Land”
  • #210, “Wade in the Water”

Water Hymns – In Singing the Journey

  • #1007, “There’s a River Flowin’ In My Soul”
  • #1046, “Shall We Gather at the River”
  • #1064, “Blue Boat Home”
  • #1067, “Mother Earth, Beloved Garden”

Water Readings – In Singing the Living Tradition

  • #526, Inuit Shaman Uvavnuk
  • #528, Langston Hughes
  • #529, Rabindranath Tagore
  • #554, Thich Nhat Hanh

Water Sermons – Be sure to credit the author if you use any parts of these sermons.

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Web Resources

(A web search on water/water justice yields a huge amount of information. Here are just a few of the outstanding Websites, organizations, etc. that can help you keep up to date on water justice issues and generate ideas for actions. All are non-profit.)

Circle of Blue WaterNews – an international network of journalists and experts, dedicated to reporting and presenting the information necessary to respond to the global freshwater crisis. Coverage is timely and comprehensive. Circle of Blue is an affiliate of the internationally recognized water, climate, and policy think tank, the Pacific Institute, which also offers a wealth of information and resources.

Clean Water Action – works to empower people to take action to protect America's waters, build healthy communities, and to make democracy work for all of us. Through a network of state offices, its campaigns work on federal and state laws and policies. It publishes an excellent newsletter.

Food and Water Watch – an action-oriented organization that advocates for common sense policies that will result in healthy, safe food and access to safe and affordable drinking water.

Living Lands and Waters –aids in the protection, preservation, and restoration of the natural environment of the nation’s major rivers and their watersheds.

National Geographic Magazine – from the April 2010 issue, a photo spread titled Sacred Waters, “From the droplets in a baptismal font to the scattering of ashes on a holy river, water blesses our lives.” The Freshwater Initiative pages on its Website contain a wealth of information on water issues worldwide.

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) – the nation's most effective environmental action group combines the grassroots power of 1.3 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout of more than 350 lawyers, scientists, and other professionals. Water and oceans are two of NRDC's key issues.

Ocean Conservancy – strives to be the world's foremost advocate for the oceans, by informing, inspiring, and empowering people to speak and act on behalf of the oceans.

The Rights to Water and Sanitation – provides a comprehensive information portal to all the issues involved in the human rights to water and sanitation around the world.

Think Outside the Bottle – a campaign from Corporate Accountability International to challenge corporate control of water by working to promote, protect, and ensure public funding for our public water systems.

Water.org – a U.S.-based nonprofit organization committed to providing safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries.

Water For People – helps people in developing countries improve quality of life by supporting the development of locally sustainable drinking water resources, sanitation facilities, and hygiene education programs.

Waterkeeper Alliance – an international alliance of almost 200 Waterkeeper organizations on six continents that defend their communities against anyone who threatens their right to clean water. The Waterkeeper movement hopes to achieve its vision of fishable, swimmable, and drinkable waterways worldwide through grassroots advocacy.

Yes! Magazine "Water Solutions" was the theme of the Summer 2010 issue; "Whose Water?" was the theme of the Winter 2003-04 issue. All of the excellent and informative articles are available on the Yes! Website.

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Books for Adults

(Listed by publication date, most recent is first)

In Deep Water: The Anatomy of a Disaster, the Fate of the Gulf, and Ending Our Oil Addiction – Peter Lehner and Bob Deans (Oct. 20, 2010)

The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One – Sylvia Earle (Oct. 12, 2010, reprint edition; originally published Sept. 15, 2009)

Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis and What To Do About It – Robert Jerome Glennon (Sept. 23, 2010)

Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (Sarah Mills Hodge Fund Publication) – Natasha D. Thethewey (Sept. 1, 2010)

Running Out of Water: The Looming Crisis and Solutions to Conserve Our Most Precious Resource – Peter Rogers, Susan Leal, and Congressman Edward J. Markey (Aug. 17, 2010)

Paving Paradise: Florida's Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss – Craig Pittman and Matthew Waite (May 25, 2010)

Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization – Steven Solomon (Jan. 18, 2010)

The Great Lakes Water Wars – Peter Annin (Aug. 25, 2009)

Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water – Maude Barlow (June 1, 2009)

When the Rivers Run Dry: Water – The Defining Crisis of the Twenty-first Century – Fred Pearce (March 15, 2007)

Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America's Fresh Waters – Robert Jerome Glennon (Jan. 14, 2004)

Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit – Vandaa Shiva (Feb. 2002)

Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource – Marq De Villiers (July 12, 2001)

  • Review at Grist
  • Reviews at Amazon (14 reviews – 4.5)

Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, Revised Edition – Marc Reisner (Jan. 1, 1993)

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Books for Children

(Listed by publication date, most recent is first)

Going Blue: A Teen Guide to Saving our Oceans, Lakes, Rivers, & Wetlands – Cathryn Berger Kay, M.A., Philippe Cousteau, EarthEcho International (Aug. 1, 2010)

One Well: The Story of Water on Earth (CitizenKid) – Rochelle Strauss and Rosemary Woods (Feb. 1, 2007)

The Snowflake: A Water Cycle Story – Neil Waldman (Sept. 3, 2003)

A River Ran Wild: An Environmental History – Lynne Cherry (April 1, 2002)

Water Dance – Thomas Locker (April 1, 2002)

Hello Ocean – Pam Munoz Ryan and Mark Astrella (Feb. 2001)

A Drop Around the World – Barbara McKinney and Michael S. Maydak (April 1, 1998)

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Films for Adults

(Listed by release date, most recent is first)

Water Wars – Directed by Jim Burrows, starring Taidal Khan, Haifaz Uddin, Bilquis Hoque, and Medha Patkar (DVD - 2010)

Blue Gold: World Water Wars – Directed by Sam Bozzo, starring Malcolm McDowell, Maude Barlow, Vandana Shiva, et al. (DVD - 2009)

Trouble the Water – Directed by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, starring Kimberly Rivers Roberts and Scott Roberts (DVD - 2009)

Frontline: Poisoned Waters – Directed by Rick Young, starring Hedrick Smith (DVD - 2009)

Flow: How Did a Handful of Corporations Steal Our Water – Directed by Irena Salina, starring Maude Barlow and Vandana Shiva (DVD - 2008)

The Water Front – Directed by Liz Miller (DVD – 2008)

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Films for Children

(Listed by release date, most recent is first)

Disneynature: Oceans – Directed by Jack Cluzaud, starring Pierce Brosnan, Jacques Perrin, Pedro Armendáriz Jr., et al. (DVD - 2010)

Baby Einstein: Baby Neptune – Discovering Water (DVD - 2009)

  • Reviews and videos at IMDb
  • Reviews at Amazon (422 reviews – 3.5)

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