fire hydrant water fountain

This was one of three fire hydrant water fountains created by artists for a Calgary Canada Day celebration. (City of Calgary)

Calgary city council wants to look at having more water fountains in public buildings.

Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra says the city has spent millions of dollars to provide high-quality drinking water so Calgarians can drink tap water instead of buying bottled water.

“A Coca-Cola or a cranberry cocktail is not a fundamental human right in a developed society and I think water is. It's fundamental to what we do as a municipality.”

Council asked administration for a report on Monday that will identify barriers to greater public access to drinking water and to develop a plan to make tap water more available.

But some councillors are concerned about the possible cost. Coun. Ward Sutherland says there may be other reasons public water fountains aren’t necessarily better.

“There are health concerns: handles, gum, that kind of stuff … When they're outside in the sun it’s warm water anyway [so] people don’t do it,” he said.