Public Drinking Water Dispensers

Local and National Policymakers, Irish Water

Courtesy: Andrew E Larsen (Flickr)
Courtesy: Andrew E Larsen (Flickr)

Water dispensers (also called water fountains or drinking fountains) are designed to provide free drinking water to the public. They usually consist of a basin with a tap.

Drinking fountains have been in decline in recent years due to the explosion in consumption of bottled water. Bottled drinking water is detrimental for the environment for many reasons including: the bottles are almost all made from petrochemicals (oil); a great deal of oil is used to transport bottled water from factories to shops; and many of the bottles are not recycled after use ending up in landfill or as litter on our land in our oceans. As many people buy bottled water every day, the ecological impact of bottled water is huge.

To reverse this recent trend, we could re-establish and restore public drinking fountains in parks, playgrounds, workplaces, schools and colleges throughout the city. They could have a guard and a long spout to prevent contact between people’s mouths and the fountain. They would have to be maintained and cleaned regularly.

Greater use of reusable bottles would also help reduce the consumption of bottled water.

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‘Tapped’ (film)

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