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September 09, 2009

OUR SCOOP: The Endangered Campus Water Fountain

 The Polaris Institute 9.09

WaterfountainA recently-released study by Canada's Polaris Institute reveals the "good, bad and ugly" on water fountains in the country's university campuses. The report's primary findings show "a disturbing trend of some institutions decommissioning water fountains in older buildings and excluding water fountains in new buildings. In these cases, students, staff and faculty are left to either bring water from home, drink from bathroom sinks or purchase bottled water."

The report ends with recommendations for improving access to public water sources, such as promoting water fountains as an aspect of sustainable campus design and requiring fountains in public buildings as part of provincial building codes. This would be a first step to "help combat the commodification of drinking water in public spaces and ensure access to this vital resource."

Read the full report.

Our Take: Cutting access to drinkable water is not a smart way to cut costs! Not only do people have to shell out big bucks at the vending machines just to stay hydrated – the amount of plastic trash will be huge! Hopefully, the Institute’s recommendations stick, and using high-quality reusable bottles will be encouraged.

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