Research into Dalhousie Water Consumption Through Drinking Fountain Usage
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In our developed society, there exists a social stigma concerning drinking water from municipal sources (Pritchard, 2009). Some people would rather drink bottled water than indulge in a free resource that is easily accessible to them. The rumor of unhygienic water has no grounds of truth, as the municipal governments require their water to be tested much more often than the owners of various bottled water companies (AllAboutWater, 2004). This project aims to determine whether there is a simple way to increase the amount of water fountain usage rather than resorting to drastic measures, such as a campus wide bottled water ban. Initially, the research group circulated an online survey to the staff at Dalhousie University to gauge their feeling towards campus fountains. The main focus of the research for this study involved monitoring three high traffic fountains around the Dalhousie Campus. After a baseline study of monitoring was done, informative posters were implemented near the observed fountains to encourage individuals to drink more fountain water. After the posters had been up for a mere week, research showed that the signs did indeed cause a small increase in the amount of fountain usage. The collected data could be used for many recommendations concerning the water fountains of Dalhousie. Some fountains around campus could be restored or thoroughly cleaned to reduce negative feelings towards them. It was also found that the use of promotional posters encouraging the use of water fountains, as well as posters giving directions to the closest water fountain do not lead to an increase in water fountain usage.