We Attended the Re-turn to the Tap Conference in Athens: The City of Ljubljana Presented as Best Practice
The conference, organised by the Greek association Mediterranean SOS Network (MedSos) in Athens on the 27th and 28th March 2018 was dedicated to finding solutions for making drinking water from tap more popular and available to everyone, especially in cities. Circular Change was invited to present Ljubljana’s public tap water system, which features 35 public fountains with free drinking water.
Perhaps surprisingly, Ljubljana and Athens both enjoy a very high quality of drinking water. Indeed, tap water in these two cities is better than bottled water, which is also unsustainable due to the amount of plastic waste connected to it, as well as many, many times more expensive. However, it quickly became obvious that Slovenia, where tap water is widely used, and Greece, where most people still drinking bottled water, face very different challenges. The challenges for the Greek water companies and NGO’s is there how to build trust between the citizens and water providers and how to change the habits of people.
The City of Ljubljana and the Vodovod-kanalizacija public company have been highly active in promoting tap water through various activities, educational programs, a mobile app which shows the locations of water fountains, interactive websites, etc.
Other presenters from abroad featured Kalver Tammik from the very successful Estonian water company Pärnu Vesi, Natalie Fee of the award-winning NGO City to Sea Bristol and Samuel Imbach from the Swiss initiative Water for water.