If I’d had any doubts that I live in an amazing city, they would’ve been washed away yesterday with the opening of Paris’ first sparkling water fountain.
The city of Paris unveiled “La Pétillante” in the 12th Arrondissement’s Jardin de Reuilly as part of a broader effort to promote the consumption of tap water.
For the occasion, Paris marshaled its army of urban planners to map the public drinking fountains in the city, including the historic Wallace fountains. The public water service distributed information on the mineral profile of tap water, also pointing out that it is 300 times cheaper and 1000 times more ecological than bottled water.
Philippe Starck was commissioned to design the promotional plastic bottles, which are sleek, stylish, and have the curious property of not being able to stand upright.
Throughout much of its history, Paris had difficulty providing affordable, clean water to its residents. In the 1870s, British philanthropist and Paris resident Richard Wallace commissioned and paid for the installation of fountains throughout the city to ensure that all residents had a source of potable water.
With the addition of “La Pétillante,” the city is upholding this tradition of equal access to drinking water. With free sparkling water, people will no longer have to choose between free, flat water and expensive, ecologically high-impact bottled water, which has increasingly become the norm for consumption.
I know it’ll save me a few Euros every week!
I have the great good fortune to live right across the street from “La Pétillante,” and last night after the festivities died down, I walked over with a big bottle and filled it. I came home, squeezed a lime into a glass, added a little orgeat syrup, and topped it off with a soft hiss of the fizzy stuff.
Voilà! A delicious limeade!
Now I wonder who I need to see about installing a public rum fountain…