Drinking water fountain in Trollhättan

In a warmer climate, it is important that people and animals have access to cooling and fluids in order to prevent any adverse impact on health. At the square Drottningtorget in Trollhättan, Trollhättan Energi installed a drinking water fountain in July 2014 where members of the public and their pets could quench their thirst on hot days.

Trollhättan Energi is a municipally owned company that is responsible for services such as operation and maintenance of the water and sewerage system in Trollhättan and producing and distributing the municipality’s drinking water.

Tap water is environmentally friendly and cheap

The idea behind the drinking water fountain is that members of the public do not need to buy bottled water when they are away from home. Trollhättan Energi argues that it is both cheaper and more environmentally friendly to drink tap water. The primary intention of the drinking water fountain was thus not as an adaptation to climate change, but the effect in terms of climate adaptation is seen as a major bonus.

Grön vattenpost
The drinking fountain in Trollhättan. A model in which the water is directed downward was chosen. The base is made of granite with a dishing for animals. Foto Maria Sima

Adaptation to a warmer climate

As the climate changes, with increased temperatures and more frequent heat-waves, drinking water fountains in public spaces will become a health promotion measure. Heat has a negative impact on both our health and that of our pets. Both hospital admissions and the death rate increase when the temperature is high.

A drinking water fountain provides members of the public with an opportunity to obtain refreshing water to replenish their fluid balance on hot days.

Design and construction

So that the water fountain would be as hygienic as possible, a model was chosen in which the tap is directed downwards, which means the simplest way to drink from it is to fill a bottle or other container. This, combined with the fountain being constructed in a way that animals and birds that want to drink cannot remain close to the water source, reduces the risk of spreading disease. 

Financing and costs

The cost of the water fountain, including the base and installation, was close to SEK 100 000. Around 60% of this was the purchase costs and 40% was labour.

The future

The installation of further water fountains in public spaces in Trollhättan is being considered, but as yet there is no concrete project under way.

More examples of climate adaptation

This is one of many examples of climate adaptation. There are more in the collection of ideas being built up by the Swedish National Knowledge Centre for Climate Change Adaptation at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI). The collection of examples has the aim of sharing experiences and providing ideas to everyone who works with climate adaptation. Examples describe concrete measures and challenges in several subject areas. They show how different actors have worked to adapt their activities to the climate changes that are already being noticed today and those that we cannot prevent in the future.