OTTAWA - Tap water it is. Beginning September 1, students at the University of Ottawa will no longer be able to purchase bottled water from campus vending machines, stores or other food outlets.
On Wednesday, the school announced that students and faculty will be "encouraged to find other ways of quenching their thirst for water" by filling up cups, glasses and re-usable bottles at the nearest fountain or tap on campus.
Since 2008, the University of Ottawa has invested more than $100,000 to revitalize its water fountains and an additional $75,000 will be invested in 2011. Improvements include gooseneck fountains for quick and easy filling of re-usable bottles, new fountains near foodservice outlets, upgrades to existing fountains, wheelchair accessibility, stronger pressure and better refrigeration.
"Our green initiatives have had an impact on our students and community in two important ways. First, our initiatives have resulted in a cleaner environment for our community. Equally important, we've taken the $31 million in energy cost savings and invested the amount directly in education, support services and research €" things that matter to our students, our faculty and our community," stated Allan Rock, president of the University of Ottawa.
Starting in 2010, the University has set itself a goal to reduce energy consumption by 2% every year through improvements in air quality, energy efficiency and water management. Other recent projects contributing to sustainable practices on campus include a high-tech composting system, enhanced campus-wide recycling and responsible disposal of equipment no longer used by the University.