A new project between Google and the Pacific Institute will help Android users locate public drinking fountains using their smart phone. The duo is building a new app, WeTap, for Android-powered phones that crowd-sources the locations of fountains in an effort to combat bottled water consumption. The WeTap app will allow smart phone users to add the location, condition, and quality to a national database of fountains. The uploaded data, and a photo, will be accessible to users who are looking for a drinking fountain in that area. It is hoped that this database of drinking fountains will incentivize cities to clean them up and ensure they function properly.
Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, says, “Public spaces need to provide public water fountains, and to educate consumers about the bargain they are. We need public water fountains to be maintained, cleaned, and made even more widely available.”
Several organizations are working on making tap water more accessible. TapIt in New York helps iPhone users find participating restaurants, cafes and other locations where they can refill their reusable water bottle, and GlobalTap is working on getting clean water bottle refilling stations set up in the Bay Area of California, with hopes of spreading nation-wide.Google+