- Look at concerns in your own watershed at EPA’s Surf Your Watershed
- Look for interrelated justice concerns such as demographic information, noticing where water contamination from extractive industries happens most frequently and the make-up of that community
- Show the trailer about a documentary on water concerns in Flint, Michigan
- Share information about how industries can either pollute or protect the areas that support them, and what Bolivians are learning about a mine in their area
- Background on mining contamination of water in Native American communities in the United States
- Read about the feminization of water poverty and the burden of water collecting that falls on women, using the biblical story of Hagar, from a member of the Pacific Council of Churches.
- Office of Public Witness has ongoing opportunities to make your voice heard with your elected representatives
Theological water concerns
In Scripture, in the baptismal font, and even in the cups that grace our tables, water is a gift from God. Water is also a right for all people on earth. Knowing that water is powerful, both life-giving and destructive at times, we praise God for the gift of water as we work to provide clean water throughout creation.
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…. ‘just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,[a] you did it to me.’” – Matthew 25:35-40
Additional resources on water
- The PC(USA) General Assembly in 2010, in solidarity with Presbyterians who live near and care for the wetlands in Southern Louisiana, passed an overture affirming the need for educational resources, financial support, corporate accountability, and public policy advocacy related to wetlands restoration and protection.
- Living Waters for the World provides water purification systems and health education to communities around the world.
- Presbyterian Disaster Assistance responds to water and other related disasters.
- Presbyterian Hunger Program focuses on poverty and hunger alleviation and economic justice concerns that include water concerns, particularly the recent drought.
What is Fracking?
Hydraulic water fracturing, often called fracking, is under great discussion, in congregations, in camp and conference centers, and in Presbyterians’ own lives and on their property. Presbyterians hold widely varied opinions on this issue.
The General Assembly of 2012 asked for Environmental Ministries to develop resources to study the issue, particularly any legal resources available. Below is the beginning sample of resources and links. Presbyterians continue to study and discern this issue. We pray for guidance and turn to scripture, Reformed tradition, our Confessions, and PCUSA policies. The General Assembly 2014 passed a policy to study the Precautionary Principle, which encourages thoughtful and cautious engagement with any new technology, such as fracking.
Food and Fracking: PHP Food Justice Webinar
Lynna Kaucheck from Food & Water Watch and Bobby King from the Land Stewardship Project explore this critical topic of how modern drilling and fracking impacts food, farmers, rancher and land use in the United States. Hear about how people and communities are resisting. Watch now.
Learn More about Fracking
- The Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists held a Lewis M. Branscomb Forum in Los Angeles at UCLA. The topic was “Science, Democracy, and Community Decisions on Fracking.” This two and a half hour presentation is now available on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgpdMH6Ftss&feature=youtu.be. (An outline of the schedule of this event, to follow along the recording, is available here.)
- Listen to various perspectives on NPR’s July 2013 Diane Rehm show with guests Steve Everley (spokesman for Energy in Depth, a research and education program of the Independent Petroleum Association of America), Josh Fox (founder and producing artistic director of the International WOW Company and writer/director/producer of three feature films, including “Gasland”), and Abrahm Lustgarten (reporter at ProPublica).
- A pro-fracking response to the movie “Gasland” (which opposes fracking) is a movie called “Truthland.” Groups may want to view both films and discuss.
- FracFocus is the national hydraulic fracturing chemical registry: fracfocus.org.
- National Resources Defense Council, a research and advocacy group that argues against fracking, has compiled information supporting their stance here. Food and Water Watch, also hoping to ban fracking, argues against it here.
- Fracking and Food: The expansion of modern drilling and fracking across the country has resulted in environmental and public health problems and created serious risks to underground water resources, all of which affect farming and our food. Learn more about the connection between fracking and the food system below.