Amsterdam expands drinking fountain network in fight against obesity

A traditional 'happer' in Amsterdam. Photo:
A traditional ‘happertje’ in Amsterdam. Photo:

The number of water fountains in Amsterdam is being doubled to around 500 to help the fight against obesity, the Parool reports.

‘The idea behind the taps is to encourage children who play outside or who are walking home from school to drink water instead of fizzy drinks,’ local council spokeswoman Margreet Hoedjes told the paper.

The taps, or ‘tappertjes’, which make it easy to fill up water bottles, are not replacing the ‘happertjes’, the traditional green water fountains, so called because you have to ‘bite’ into the water, the paper said.

However, the new taps have been fitted with a button to deliver a measure of water, an improvement on the old ‘happer’ which has a constant flow  of water and has been criticised for being wasteful.

Drinking water provider Waternet, which is responsible for the water fountains, is  testing if the older fountains can be fitted with a similar water saving device.

The oldest water fountain in the Amsterdam dates from 1903, when the local council decided that fresh water should be accessible to all.

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