Awareness is increasing of the evils of the ubiquitous plastic water bottle. Elizabeth Royte suggests a solution- the return of the public fountain, a neglected staple of yesteryear.
"Water fountain season is here. New York City workers have turned on bubblers in the parks, and the Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson has begun to erect four enormous waterfalls in the harbor, each 90 to 120 feet high, that are scheduled to flow from July to October. The shimmering cascades will cost the city nothing (the $15 million cost is being paid by private donations to the Public Art Fund), but here's a better idea for a civic-minded organization or person interested in celebrating water: sidewalk fountains in places outside the parks."
"An entire generation of Americans has grown up thinking public faucets equal filth, and the only water fit to drink comes in plastic, factory sealed. It's time to change that perception with public fountains in the city's busiest quadrants, pristine bubblers that celebrate the virtues of our public water supply, remind us of our connection to upstate watersheds and reinforce our commitment to clean water for all."