Last year, free access drinking water refill stations or free taps were installed in the parks of Riga, and the operation of taps has been renewed after closure for the winter season. Water from the city water supply is provided for these free taps, and the water provided is clean, high-quality, safe for use, and is regularly tested.
“Facilitation of access to drinking water is a city development direction planned by the Riga City Council in cooperation with the company “Rīgas ūdens”. The aim is to provide the residents and visitors of Riga with freely accessible high-quality drinking water from the city water supply. That way, we invite people to refresh themselves with the drinking water of Riga and reduce the consumption of plastic. Installation of the free taps and water consumption will be paid by the local government of Riga,” stated Selīna Vancāne, the Chair of the Housing and Environment Committee, Riga City Council.
Normunds Zvaunis, Member of the Board of SIA “Rīgas ūdens” said: “According to the task entrusted to us by Riga City Council, we will care for the management of the existing free taps and each year will expand the availability of high-quality drinking water in the public environment of our capital city so that residents and visitors of Riga could form a habit of safe usage of Riga tap water which is clean, safe, as well as tasty and healthful because it contains many valuable minerals. This year, we intend to enhance the availability of drinking water by installing ten more free taps in various neighbourhoods of Riga.”
“For the 150th anniversary of the Song Festival tradition Riga plans to take in half a million of city visitors this summer, as well as almost 41 thousand participants. Authorities of the local government currently with great responsibility take active part in preparation of the festival so that the process of the festival would be successful in summer, and every person would feel welcome and sense the festive atmosphere of the Song Festival across the whole city. This time, Riga local government gives a special focus on climate-friendly festivities for the XXVII Nationwide Latvian Song Festival and XVII Dance Festival; therefore, participants and visitors of the Festival will have access to free water taps and eight mobile water refill stations which will be located in the major venues: by Mežaparks Stage, in Daugava Stadium, Esplanāde, and Vērmane Garden,” emphasised Eva Juhņēviča, adviser to the CEO of Riga City.
Free taps are located in the Vērmane Garden by the children’s playground, in Esplanāde behind the building of the Art Museum of Latvia, in Ziedoņdārzs Garden, in the park of Dzegužkalns, at Mežaparks by the entrance to the zoo, and in the Central Sports Quarter on Krišjāņa Barona street, as well as the front area of Āgenskalns market. Free taps are installed at the height to provide for convenient drinking or refill of a water bottle, as well as to ensure access for people in wheelchairs. The structure of the taps allows to provide water for animals as well.
The free tap by the statue of Rolands at Rātslaukums is still operating, as well as four free taps of SIA “Rīgas ūdens” in Jūrmalas gatve 133, by Voleru Street 65, by Mazā Vējzaķsala 17, and Kudziņsalas 9. šķērslīnija 6.
This year, enhanced urban availability of free access drinking water refill stations or free taps will be continued with installation of ten new free taps. Those will be located at Brasas Square, Grīziņkalns Park, Ziemeļblāzma Park, Ēbelmuiža Park, by the children’s playground at the park in Pļavnieki, at Ķengarags Promenade, at Zemitāns Square, by Vecāķi Beach, by the beach trail in Daugavgrīva, as well as in the sports field of Imanta Secondary School. These locations have been selected after summarising the data obtained from the survey of Neighbourhood Residents Centre.
“Rīgas ūdens” intends to renew the operation of the historical water spring house at Raiņa Boulevard 3 (opposite to Reimersa Street). The placement of all the mentioned new free taps is planned by the end of June.
Moreover, placement of eight more mobile drinking water stations is planned in the urban environment during the XXVII Nationwide Latvian Song Festival and XVII Dance Festival; each station will have eight water refill spots. In autumn, when schools will resume their work, installation of drinking water stations in schools of Riga will continue.
Fountains overseen by the local government in Riga have already been put into operation.
Information was prepared by: Mārtiņš Vilemsons, Project Coordinator at External Communication Division of Riga City Council Communication Department, e-mail: email@example.com