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WATCH Pope Francis greets attendees at Vatican water conference

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The Holy Father encouraged participants to protect this "treasure belonging to everyone"

Pope Francis kicked off a Vatican conference on recognizing the value of water with words of welcome to its participants at Wednesday’s General Audience.

Noting the “need to protect water as a treasure belonging to everyone, mindful too of its cultural and religious significance,” the Holy Father encouraged efforts to educate children and young people on the value of water.

The one-day Vatican conference is entitled “Watershed: replenishing water values for a thirsty world,” and takes place on March 22, the 25th World Water Day, which was established by the United Nations in 1992.

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