“WeTap”: An Exciting New Opportunity for Public Drinking Water Fountains
The Pacific Institute, in collaboration with Google, is preparing to launch an exciting new smartphone applications (app) that could help address a major water challenge: finding, supporting, and expanding the nation’s public drinking water fountains.
Dr. Gleick, who authored Bottled and Sold: The Story of Our Obsession with Bottled Water, said, “The average American now drinks nearly 30 gallons of commercial bottled water per year, up from 1 gallon in 1980, creating plastic waste and wasting energy. One of the reasons for this explosive growth in the sales of bottled water is the disappearance of public drinking water fountains.”
The new application, under development initially for Android-capable phones, is called WeTap. It does two things:
- Permits smartphone users to add public drinking water fountains to a national database of fountains, with information on their location, condition, and quality, including uploading a photo; and
- Permits smartphone users to find a working fountain when they want one.
The test version of WeTap is ready and volunteers are being sought to show the world where Berkeley’s drinking fountains are. The Pacific Institute is recruiting volunteers who own Android-capable phones and have gmail and Picasa photo accounts to test the application by finding water fountains and uploading them on their phones, and to provide feedback on the application.
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The Pacific Institute is a nonpartisan research institute that works to advance environmental protection, economic development, and social equity.