Geneva installs public fountain that dispenses free sparkling water

Geneva installs public fountain that dispenses free sparkling water

To help locals cope with the hot weather, and to reduce plastic waste, the city of Geneva has installed its first-ever sparkling water fountain. The water is fully carbonated and can be used by the public for free.

Sparkling water fountain installed in central Geneva

On June 21, Geneva began its “Eau de Genève” project, designed to encourage people to drink more water, especially during heatwaves. The sparkling water fountain has been placed on the Pont de la Machine esplanade in the city in order to test its popularity.

The device uses solar panels for 25 percent of its energy, and 90 percent of the water comes directly from Lake Geneva. The fountain offers cool still and sparkling water 24 hours a day and is designed to encourage people to refill their sparkling water bottles, instead of buying new ones.

Free sparkling water "thousands" of times better for environment

“It has up to a thousand times less impact on the environment than bottled water,” said Christian Brunier, Director General of Industrial Services in Geneva. “Giving preference to tap water is a small gesture that is good for the planet.”

Brunier explained that the sparkling water feature was a response to bottled water sales in the city, noting that sparkling water from Australia, the United States and Israel are all available for sale in Swiss cities and cantons. He argued that refilling sparkling water bottles locally produces far less CO2 and plastic than importing them from overseas, and making it free was a great way to encourage people to make the switch.

The fountain itself costs 30.000 Swiss francs to instal and up to 1.500 francs a year to maintain. If the pilot scheme is popular, the sparkling water fountains are set to be rolled out to other districts in the city.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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