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Water Fountains in NYC

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Water Fountain

We drank out of this water fountain at Riverside Park. Photo by Kelly Ernst/NYCEDC

Summer officially arrived in the City on June 20, marked by high temperatures and lots of sun. While this time of year is great for outdoor activities, the heat and sunshine may put New Yorkers at risk for dehydration more so than any other time of the year. In 2011, the New York City Water Supply System provided about one billion gallons of drinking water per day to more than eight million residents in the City. At the height of this summer’s activities, it’s important for parched New Yorkers to know just where they can find water.

Using data available on the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation website, we analyzed the supply of water fountains in City parks and playgrounds by borough. There are currently 1,970 water fountains in New York City, with nearly a third of the fountains (32.5% or 640 fountains) located in Brooklyn. Queens clocks in second with 537 water fountains, followed by Manhattan with 351.

NYC Water Fountains by Borough

Water Fountains by Borough

Source: NYC Parks & Recreation

In Staten Island, Manhattan, and the Bronx, the three parks with the most fountains in the borough represent 44.1% of all fountains in Staten Island, 26.2% in Manhattan, and 22.9% in the Bronx. In contrast, the top three fountain-spots in Brooklyn only make up 11.3% of the borough’s overall fountain supply and 14.0% of the overall fountain supply in Queens. 

Population might be an influencing factor in the supply of water fountains, so we also calculated the fountains per 10,000 people in each borough using 2010 U.S. Census population statistics. Although Staten Island has the fewest fountains of any borough, it’s actually the best per-capita with 3.09 fountains for every 10,000 residents. In contrast, Brooklyn is the most populous borough, but it still places behind Staten Island with 2.55 fountains per 10,000 people.

NYC Water Fountains by Borough, per 10,000 people

Water Fountains per Capita

Source: NYC Parks & Recreation, 2010 U.S. Census

Water fountains are not the only way you can hydrate in New York City. The Department of Environmental ProtectionDepartment of Health and Mental Hygiene and NYC Digital recently launched the 2012 Water-On-The-Go program. Throughout the summer, portable NYC Water drinking fountains will be rotated between 30 different plazas, parks, Greenmarkets, and sidewalks in the five boroughs. To help New Yorkers locate the different stations, DEP has developed a new Water-On-The-Go iPhone/iPad app with this season’s schedule and locations. Additionally, New Yorkers using Foursquare will be able to check in at Water-On-The-Go stations to unlock specials for a free reusable NYC Water Bottle.

Wherever you live, bring a refillable bottle with you this summer as you trek around the City to stay hydrated, and take advantage of any water fountains you find! Notably, there is apparently one fountain at the Fountain of Youth playground in the Bronx, and readers of StatsBee are encouraged to report any special youthful properties of its water that they may find.

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