Germany plans more free drinking water fountains in public spaces

International |  IANS  | Published :

Berlin, Aug 11 (IANS) Germany's Environment Minister Steffi Lemke has urged cities and municipalities across the country to set up more free drinking water fountains.

Citizens should be able to obtain water more easily when they are on the move, as well as fill up with free water for domestic use, reports dpa news agency.

A corresponding bill by the Green politician passed the federal cabinet on Wednesday.

"Access to drinking water must be as easy as possible for all people in Germany," Lemke said.

The bill provides for municipalities to set up drinking water fountains in parks, pedestrian zones and shopping arcades, for example, as long as this is technically feasible and meets local needs.

As a first step, cities and municipalities are to set up about 1,000 additional fountains, the Ministry said.

There are already more than 1,300 public drinking water fountains across the country.

"The recent dry and hot summers have shown us that persistent heat waves are no longer a rare event in Germany," Lemke said.

Drinking fountains with tap water are one of the basic components of good public health in these circumstances, she added.

"If municipalities take action now, they will make an important contribution to protecting the health of citizens," Lemke said.

"Tap water is a controlled foodstuff, it saves energy and is provided without packaging at the drinking fountain, so the environment also benefits."

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