In recent times, we have seen water used as a weapon of war; last September, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) pointed out with deep concern that in Syria, water had become “a tool in the hands of fighting parties.”

It is therefore with some consternation that we learn this week of trouble in Delhi, where the sabotage of a canal by protesters has led to a critical water shortage.

Respect for and the protection of water supplies should be a non-negotiable value at all times and in all places. To lose this respect for water as a life essential is to become a little less human. No cause is worth the loss of one’s own humanity.