Emaya, Palma's municipal services agency, is installing filtered drinking water fountains in areas of the city. The aims of this are to encourage the drinking of tap water, reduce the use of plastic bottles and therefore also reduce the amount of waste.
The water is supplied by the Emaya tap water network and has a simple filtration system for improving the taste of the water. There is a system for drinking, although this doesn't involve a container, while there is a separate means of delivering water for allowing dogs to drink.
Three of these fountains had previously been installed - in Plaça Mercat, on Carrer Sant Miquel, and in the square in Pere Garau. Thirty more are now being put in place, the first having been installed last week in Plaça Santa Pagesa and on the corner of Carrer Jacint Verdaguer with Balmes. Another will shortly appear in El Molinar. Definitive decisions regarding the siting of the others have yet to be made, but they will be in places where there are most people.
Emaya says that its tap water has all health guarantees for human consumption and is constantly analysed. The agency adds that increasing numbers of people are drinking it, the water having been filtered for home consumption in the same way as it is with the fountains on streets and in squares. Every time that a reusable bottle is used for water from the fountains, the use of single-use bottles is avoided.
It is calculated that each resident of the Balearics currently consumes an average of 175 litres of bottled water per annum. Equivalent to 117 bottles with 1.5 litres, this means a cost of 61 euros per person and the generation of five kilos of plastic waste. In Palma, 2,000 tonnes of this waste is created each year.