Water Water Everywhere!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A tentacle grasping a reusable water bottle represents the University of Ottawa's adoption of a bottled water free campus

This year marks the 4th year of being a bottled water free campus for the University of Ottawa. I can't say that there was a lot of opposition to the idea but now that a few years have passed, it seems like the campus has embraced being bottled water free.

I won't make it seem like there is unanimous adoption. Every once and a while I will walk by an event that is handing out a bottle or two and think to myself that I should send a letter or something. But, in my mind, the biggest win from the bottled water free campaign is the improvement of the water fountains on campus. As a condition to becoming bottled water free, Physical Resources Service has invested $75,000 every year into improving the fountains on campus and adding new fountains.

Don't take my word for it, every year our office produces a report to monitor the state of the water fountains on campus. The fountains are checked for 7 dimensions of quality; taste, temperature, water pressure, accessibility, cleanliness, the presence of a goose neck, and whether or not the fountains are bilingual.

This year's report demonstrates just how far the University has come. In every category there are dramatic improvements with particularly good news when it comes to the number of fountains that have goose necks (the presence of a goose neck facilitates the use of refillable water bottles).

We are hoping to finish up the majority of the fountain program over the next 2 years and establish new standards for the fountains on campus. In the meantime, our thanks goes out to the SFUO for their role in helping create this bottled water free campus and their continued support by educating the student population about why it is so important to use the tap.

You can read this year's report at our website.
http://www.sustainable.uottawa.ca/uploads/editor/file/Water%20Fountain%20Assessment%202013.pdf


~jON - cmapus sustainability manager
photo credit - jonathan rausseo

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