Riverkeeper-led Coalition Urges Bloomberg to Increase Water Fountains
More water fountains would help reduce bottled water consumption
Tarrytown, New York - A Riverkeeper-led coalition urged Mayor Michael Bloomberg to launch a citywide system of modern public drinking water fountains for the benefit of the environment, the economy and public health. The coalition is comprised of Hudson Riverkeeper, Alex Matthiessen; author Elizabeth Royte (Bottlemania); Charles Komanoff of Komanoff Energy Consultants; Gigi Kellet, "Think Outside the Bottle"Campaign Director for Corporate Accountability International; David Levine from Green Harvest Technologies; Wendy Brawer from Green Map System; Cathleen Breen, Watershed Production Coordinator for New York Public Interest Research Group; and Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch.
"We believe that access to drinking water is a basic human right and that New York City as a whole would benefit greatly from more water fountains. By adding drinking water fountains to the parks and streets of New York City, you will quench our thirst, reduce litter, reduce our carbon footprint, and reaffirm our connection to New York City's most valuable natural asset," said Hudson Riverkeeper, Alex Matthiessen.
Though New York City is renowned for some of the best drinking water in the world, it is often difficult to find public drinking water fountains in public spaces and throughout midtown Manhattan. The group urged the mayor to celebrate New York City's water and raise awareness about the importance of upgrading and maintaining New York's aging water infrastructure through the large-scale installation of state-of-the-art public drinking water fountains throughout the five boroughs. More drinking water fountains would also help educate the public on the environmental, health and economic benefits of switching to tap water from bottled water.
It takes 17 million barrels of oil to produce the plastic water bottles used in the U.S. each year. Transporting these bottles creates air pollution, increases greenhouse gases, and adds to traffic congestion. Last year, New Yorkers consumed roughly one billion bottles of water, about 125 for every man, woman and child. Typically, only 15 percent of plastic water bottles are recycled - the rest are buried, burned or littered. Nationwide, cities spend as much as $70 million annually to dispose of plastic water bottles. Increasing water fountains would reduce New York's need to consume bottled water, in turn saving energy and money for the city. More drinking fountains would also further PlaNYC goals related to energy and climate change.
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Riverkeeper is an independent member-supported environmental organization. Riverkeeper's mission is to protect the ecological integrity of the Hudson River and its tributaries, and to safeguard the drinking water supply of New York City and the lower Hudson Valley. For more information, please visit www.riverkeeper.org