ZSÓFIA ZÉTÉNYI – ReHydrant
**Water in the City**
Access to drinking water in public spaces is a current urban challenge. Apart from the waste-issue related to bottled water, the key to a healthy and sustainable environment is enabling citizens to quench their thirst in any situation. Tap-water consumption has drastically dropped in the past few decades in Europe even though potable water has to fulfill strict sanitary regulations. ReHydrant Project not only aims to solve water accessibility in the city but also tries to increase the popularity of tap-water as well.
Infrastructural Background The only section of the water pipe-line that reaches the road surface in public spaces is the fire hydrant. Although the main function of hydrants is to extinguish fire, they are usually connected to the same pipeline that conveys high quality drinking water to our homes across Europe. The hydrants are all over the city, you can find one within 150 meters or less. The hydrant network is owned by the local water company, which regularly maintains and monitors this system. Therefore it is a plausible solution to reconfigurate the structure and potential of this already existing and underused network in order to regain access to drinking water in the city.
The ReHydrant taps are able to convert fire hydrants into easily usable drinking fountains. These drinking taps can be placed on or removed from the hydrants with a single action; hence the overriding function of fire protection is not affected. The drinking hydrant, a mobile drinking fountain device, provides publicly accessible water at a much lower cost than a typical drinking fountain, and thus is a very economical response to the lack of water in urban areas. In order to drink from the ReHydrants attached to hydrants, push the metal button and water will emerge from the hole on the top of the device.
It is a well-known urban fact that public spaces with access to water increase the usage and popularity of the area. For example, a new fountain has a positive impact on its surroundings, and establishing a new water-point can be used as a leading strategy in any urban rehabilitation programme. Raising public consciousness in all matters is the main task of today’s environmental and sustainable movement. People should be able to take care of public property as their own; the Drinking Hydrant has all the necessary features to start this process as it is a simple, friendly and supplementary urban device.