When Albuquerque’s new AAA baseball park opened in 2003, the drinking fountain by the restrooms on the third base side was somehow connected to a hot water line. I’m sure it was an accident, right? We’re dealing with the flaws of arguing from anecdote here, but Peter Gleick’s piece this week offers a number of other cases that are at least consistent with a trend:
It is time to stand up and demand that our public places and spaces have clean, working, water fountains. It used to be that no city in ancient Greece and Rome could call itself civilized unless public fountains were available for everyone. Even today, when our tap water is remarkably safe and inexpensive, we need water in our public areas.
It’s mistakes like this which make me verrrry reluctant to advocate for recycled water to be delivered to residential property for outdoor irrigation. First, who’s going to tell the landowner that his kids shouldn’t drink from the outdoor faucet? Second, when the inevitable cross-link occurs and someone gets sick (from eating bad mayo) and blames the water, everybody gets sued.
Public fountains are what make Rome and other southern Italian cities bearable in summer. You can’t walk two blocks without a charming little fountain’s musical water beckoning you to wet your steaming face. Maybe in 1000 years when our society matures we can have such things…