Currently, there are 1,300 public drinking fountains in Germany and soon they will nearly double, Source: Depositphotos

Germany wants more public drinking fountains to fight heatwaves

Germany wants more public drinking fountains to fight heatwaves

The Federal government will make municipalities choose specific and optimal locations for these water sources

Yesterday, the Federal Ministry of the Environment in Germany proposed a law that would make municipalities create more free public drinking fountains. According to Minister Steffi Lemke, this would both help Germany through heatwaves and it would secure free access to water.

Furthermore, she pointed out that because the water is not distributed in plastic containers, public fountains would be eco-friendlier.

Increasing public drinking fountains on a municipal level

According to an official statement by the German Environment Ministry, currently, there are 1,300 public drinking fountains in the country and as soon as the new law passes in parliament, that number is set to grow by another thousand.

This, authorities say, is only the first step of the law, with the next being setting up a programme through which municipalities will have to establish even more drinking sources. Regulations about where exactly the fountains need to be are deliberately lax, as the ministry wants to consider the local point of view.

At the same time, it does state that the fountains need to be in frequented public spaces, like squares, parks, pedestrian zones, shopping arcades and etc. The focus here, according to the statement, is to ‘build them where it makes sense and meets local needs’.

Additionally, the ministry points out that high-quality drinking water that is readily available is the first step to creating a heat action plan for local authorities. This enables people to better protect themselves from the health effects of heat.

As Minister Lemke put it, heatwaves are no longer a rare event in Germany and cities need to start adapting to the changing climate. Her ministry also plans to develop an advisory document as well as a policy effectiveness study to offer municipalities good practices for mitigating the situation.



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