Sunday, 31 July 2011

Ottawa: Proud of It's Municipal Water Supply and It's Pathways - The Disconnect

Ottawa is very proud of the quality of it's municipal drinking water supply and goes to great lengths to assure people they do not need to buy bottled water.

Ottawa is also very proud of it's shared recreational pathway system which, along with the NCCs pathways, provides a great opportunity for lengthy bicycle rides. Indeed, I regularly ride over 40 km, often over 70 km and occasionally even over 100 km.

All the experts will tell you that it is very important to keep hydrated when exercising in the hot summer weather and the best way is to just drink water.

However it is almost impossible to take advantage of the municipal water supply when riding the city's pathways as there are very few water fountains available along them and those that are require you to almost swallow the fixture to get a drink making it impossible to fill a water bottle from them. On many long rides I have had to purchase bottled water to provide the required hydration to ride safely.

This, along with the shortage of public toilets (which I have already written about), limits the useability of the pathway system and may discourage many Ottawa residents from being as active and fit as they could be.

Along with providing the necessary missing connections in the pathway system, the City also needs to provide the proper infrastructure (water fountains and toilets) for a proper pathway system that people can use all day, rather than just for a few hours at a time.

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