John Crowley, Social Democrat Candidate for Galway City West, is proposing that Galway City and County Councils follow the good example of Dublin Councils in installing water fountains and filling stations throughout Galway, which would encourage re-use and re-filling of water bottles and provide free and safe drinking water to the public.
Mr Crowley stated that such a move would be a “win-win for everyone.”
“There are both health and financial benefits with the scheme. Small practical steps like this will save money, reduce the use of plastics and improve our environment. It is the first of many, I hope, and a small practical step to stem the tide of single use plastics & therefor plastic pollution”
“Unlike many European countries, Ireland took explicit ownership of natural resources in its 1937 Constitution. Water, as well as the nation’s other resources, ‘belong to the State’. Since the introduction of Irish Water in 2013 the infrastructure is already in place to easily implement such a scheme if the political will is there,” he said.
Mr Crowley applauded the work of an Irish charity called ‘Cool Planet’ who are raising awareness about climate change and sustainability. Cool Planet are working with Dublin city Councils with an aim to reduce the use of single-use plastics and Mr Crowley encourages Galway City and County Councils to follow suit.
South Dublin County Council also plans to examine the provision of public water fountains by assessing suitable locations. Fingal County Council recently installed a public water fountain at Howth in an effort to reduce plastic waste and introduce water sustainability measures, a second fountain is due to be installed at Malahide Demesne this week.
Mr Crowley called on the public to contact their local councillors supporting the scheme and requesting that they identify pilot locations in areas of high pedestrian footfall, and examine the costs and best ways to implement the scheme.