Bottled Water Part 2: Water Fountains

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Have you ever drunk from one of the water fountains on campus? Did it look like this?
Have you ever seen the newer fountains that have a spout that can fill up a water bottle, that are accessible, that are clean, and have cold water? That’s what I’m talking about.
In the summer of 2008 and 2009, water fountain assessments were completed in order to find out the state of water fountains on our campus. Main reason being: the better fountain infrastructure we have, the more people will drink from it instead of buying bottled water.

uOttawa, in its efforts to improve its status as a green university and also to improve the student experience, put aside $150,000 over two years to improve water fountain infrastructure based on the recommendations from the two reports from the summer assessments. One of the major recommendations this year was to put water fountains near food service locations like the cafeteria in SITE and UCU, since this is where most bottled water is sold. The idea is that if people have the tap option near where they eat (when they want something to drink the most) they will choose it more often. Plus, it saves money.

Now, let’s tackle a few other myths around bottled water consumption. A lot of people suggest that it is bad for our health (our being the collective, i.e. our campus community) because without bottled water available, people will buy more pop. Personally, I would love to get rid of all those bottled drinks. But, given that’s not happening any time soon, we can pick this apart.

Bottled water is both directly and indirectly bad for your health because of the plastic which contains it. Also, if people decide they want to buy orange juice or pop, that’s fine by me. Pop isn’t streaming through our pipes to get to our tap at a cost that’s 10,000 times less than buying the bottle. On the other hand, pop is essentially just water and syrup anyways…
-sarah jayne

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