Quenching Community Thirst

Planning for More Access to Drinking Water in Public Places

By Nicholas Kushner, AICP



National policy and action toolkits have begun drawing attention to drinking water access. The White House initiative Let's Move, in its "Action Steps Toolkit for Mayors and Local Officials", states that these officials should "require access to free and safe drinking water in public places".

The Institute of Medicine's Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity also lists the following advice:

"Strategy 7…Increase access to free, safe drinking water in public places to encourage consumption of water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages…Adopt building codes to require access to, and maintenance of, fresh drinking water fountains (e.g., public restroom codes)" (Parker et al. 2009).


Page Count
Date Published
Nov. 1, 2013
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About the Author

Nicholas Kushner, AICP
Nick Kushner, AICP Community Planner Department of Parks and Recreation Government of the District of Columbia Nick joined the DC Department of Parks and Recreation in June, 2017. He is the senior long-range planner in the Capital Projects, Planning, and Design Division and is currently focused on developing a new master plan for the agency. Nick has worked previously with the DC Department of Energy and Environment working on the city’s sustainability plan, Sustainable DC. He has also spent time with the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services where he helped write the final Age-Friendly DC Strategic Plan, which is part of the World Health Organization's network of Age-Friendly Communities. In this role, Nick was invited to the WHO Headquarters in Geneva to represent DC in a global pilot project to test age-friendly indicators. Nick has also worked with the DC Office of Planning on the early stages of the city's comprehensive plan amendment cycle and public engagement. Prior to joining DC Government, previous work experience includes researching comprehensive plans and public health at the American Planning Association and refugee resettlement and assistance work in the DC region and eastern Africa. Nick has a dual Master’s degree from Virginia Tech in Urban and Regional Planning and Public and International Affairs and a Bachelors’ degree in Political Science from the University of Minnesota.