Montreal is taking a unique approach to increasing the public's water supply by repurposing existing fire hydrants into water fountains.
The Association of Industrial Designers of Quebec developed the innovation as a way to make city water more accessible without incurring substantial construction costs. The hydrant-fountains also are intended to cut down on reliance of bottled water that uses plastic packaging.
Three more hydrants are slated for retrofits. The hydrants can still be used by emergency crews to douse fires. Among the unforeseen benefits: homeless and elderly residents have made considerable use of the fountains, the article says. Other cities already have expressed interest in the valve technology, known as the Bornéo system.