| 4.2°C Dublin

Time to revamp our public water fountains

DUBLIN'S disused public drinking fountains could be set for an overhaul, after calls for their restoration.

Dublin City Council (DCC) should restore the disused public drinking fountains throughout the city and promote their use among the public, a councillor has said.

Cllr Claire O'Regan (Lab) is urging the council to promote access to safe, clean and free water by restoring the public drinking fountain outside City Hall in particular.

Public drinking fountains dotted around the city would reduce the amount of plastic water bottles going to landfill and incinerators, she said.

"I'm not aware of how many water fountains there are but I think it's ironic that I walk past a disused one every time I go to City Hall. For some reason it has dried up.

"I've gone to a few European cities and it does seem to me that water is generally available in many of them."

Water shortages in the Big Freeze last January highlighted the importance of having constant access to water, she said.


"Our huge reliance on water is something I've become very aware of with people really in difficulty, buying water or with no water at all in the Big Freeze.

"Our city pipes are old and leaking, and there's a huge loss resulting from that. But clean, fresh water should be a basic human right."

The councillor maintains that bottled water has "seeped into the public consciousness" and everyone feels that they need to carry one around.

"Large corporations want us to think that our enemy is public water but the corporations behind this are often not synonymous with health.

"It has now seeped into the public consciousness about carrying bottles around but I'm asking people to think about their corporate responsibility and environmental issues."

The amount of waste created by plastic bottles going to landfill would be dramatically reduced if water was freely available in the city, she added.

"The main issue is that existing water fountains should be brought back into use," she said.