TapIt: Finding Drinking Water On The Go, Made Easy

OK, you’ve read all the info and recognize how bad bottled water truly is for the environment. You’ve done your research and found a reusable bottle that you want to use (or better yet are reusing something you already had). And now you are ready to once and for all kick your plastic water bottle habit for good.

The first few days go pretty well. You’re at home or at the office and you know where you can find good clean drinking water. But then you have a day of running around the city. It’s hot. You’re drinking a lot because that bicycle you’ve been riding is giving you a workout. Suddenly, you find yourself out of water with nowhere to fill up.

Depending on where you live, this can actually be a bit of a problem. Many areas don’t have water fountains anymore (anyone been to Vegas recently?) and many others have them but they can be hard to find, or worse yet, easy to find, but not well maintained.

That’s where TapIt comes in. TapIt is an organization that started in New York City in 2008. By visiting their website, downloading their iPhone app (search TapIt in the iTunes store), or printing out their city maps, you can easily find cafes, shops and restaurants who have agreed to make drinking water available to the general public. How cool is that? And while New York City was the city they started with, they are now offering information on cities in 10 states, and that number is growing.

Can’t find info on water sources in your city or state? Well then jump on board and contact them about enlisting businesses in your area that want to help out. It’s a win-win situation because citizens get access to drinking water on the go, and businesses increase their foot traffic, bringing new prospective customers into their establishments. And by the way, if you own your own business and want to be a part of the network, you can sign up here as well.

While TapIt’s goal is definitely a cool one, they go one step further by educating people to the water problems at hand. A recent view of their Facebook page had a story about how to supersize your water savings, a piece on water scarcity and global security, and a story about Sana, Yemen becoming the first capital city in the world to run out of water. It’s a wealth of knowledge, and once you join their group, that info will come right to your digital doorstep.

So check out TapIt, join up, hydrate, and pass it on.

Dave Chameides is a filmmaker and environmental educator. His website and newsletter are designed to inspire thought and dialogue on environmental solutions and revolve around the idea that no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. “Give people the facts, and they’ll choose to do the right thing.”


Trace J.
Trace J8 years ago

It took awhile but I have finally converted a couple of my kids and now they dont go anywhere without their reusable water bottles and they even chastise themselves if they forget :)

Claudia L.
Claudia L.8 years ago

This is a great initiative thanks for the info

Adam R.
Past Member 8 years ago

Those conscious of this fact understand that bringing your own refillable bottle of water is the greener, and way cheaper, way to go in keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day. But for those urbanites on the move, finding a convenient place during the day to refill your bottle without getting strange looks or having to purchase something in order to do so may be tough.


Liz W8 years ago

Search "toxic waters, New York Times". The series by, I think, Karl Russell is an absolute must read. This is a place to really take action, folks.
Don't ever believe that tap water is safe, standards have nothing at all to do with safety or with keeping you and your family safe from pollution.
Always filter tap water for metals, chemicals, drugs (medications erc), and viruses. Always.
Bathrooms are filthy - remember, the last time the toilet flushed it sent particles of it's contents into the air and showered them all over every surface in the space. The older the fixtures and pipes the more toxic and filthy the water.

Ronnie Citron-Fink

Hi Dave,
Tapit is a great idea and I've seen the promos in NYC. Have you heard about The Savior Bud? It’s a portable device that provides drinkable water collected from tree leaves. The device gets attached to tree leaves, where it captures water and stores it in a container. The designers believe that in about four hours, the device can capture about one cup of water. I would imagine it would have to be filtered, but it’s a cool idea. Here’s the link: http://www.ecofriend.org/entry/eco-gadgets-savior-bud-collects-moisture-from-tree-leaves-for-potable-water/

Sustainable Dave
Dave Chameides8 years ago

Miss Info,
I hear ya which is why i find it extremely upsetting when those who do have access to clean drinking water chose to buy it in plastic bottles. This is just another tool to show folks how easy it can be when you live somewhere with decent drinking water.

Miss Info
Miss Info8 years ago

We don't fill up at the bathroom sink because the water here is filled with chlorine. In my parents' summer place, the water comes out of the tap reddish brown. Where my sister-in-law once lived, it came out smelling like rotten eggs. Not everyone has the luxury of drinking tap water!

Sabrina N.
Sabrina N.8 years ago

wunderful initiative, in a day and age, where public places/stores are taking away fountains to sell water bottles.

Neil H.
Neil H8 years ago

Why don't you just fill up at a bathroom sink? Almost every store, coffee shop, deli, etc has restrooms. Not public restrooms? Buy a pack of gum. I guess I don't see how hard it is to find drinking water. Unless you live in a city with just horrible drinking water (Cleveland), but most cities have pretty decent standards. Usually higher than bottled water.

Caralien S.
Caralien S8 years ago

great site--thanks!