Title: The waters of consumptive sustainability

Authors: Gary L. Chamberlain

Addresses: Seattle University, 901 12th Ave. E. Seattle, WA 98122, USA

Abstract: Current fresh water consumption is unsustainable worldwide. This discussion focuses on the world view of 'over-consumption,' often functioning as a 'religion' which provides meaning and motivation for action. This world view and consequent actions lead to such unsustainable activities as the drawdown of reservoirs beyond recharge, the pollution of water beyond use and other unsustainable practices. These realities require new ways of thinking about the earth's fresh water resources both in terms of transformations of consciousness and the patterns of restraint in the usage of water. Such revisions involve religious dimensions and a new water ethic. After a description of the many crises of fresh waters; the author examines new interpretations of the Christian teachings, a 'green' Christianity, the development of fresh explorations of the 'rights' of water and indicates how the principles of Catholic Social Teachings can provide a new water ethic.

Keywords: water crises; sustainability; fresh water consumption; religion; Christianity; green theology; new water ethic; Catholic social teachings; water pollution; reservoir drawdown; water scarcity; water usage; water rights; sustainable development.

DOI: 10.1504/IER.2015.071020

Interdisciplinary Environmental Review, 2015 Vol.16 No.2/3/4, pp.175 - 192

Received: 30 Oct 2014
Accepted: 12 May 2015

Published online: 05 Aug 2015 *

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