FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE12-39
June 18, 2012
Chris Gilbride / Corey Chambliss (DEP) (718) 595-6600
Alexandra Waldhorn (DOHMH) (347) 396-4177
Marybeth Ihle (NYC Digital) (212) 669-7742
Environmental Protection Commissioner Strickland, Health Commissioner Farley, Chief Digital Officer Sterne Launch 2012 Water-On-the-Go Program in All Five Boroughs, Announce New iPhone/iPad Mobile App and Foursquare Check-In Special
2012 Marks First Year of Summer-Long Stations in All Five Boroughs
Foursquare Social Media Platform Allows Visitors to Check-In and Unlock Specials for Free, Reusable NYC Water Bottle
Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Carter Strickland, Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley and Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne today launched the 2012 Water-On-the-Go season, making NYC Water easily available at outdoor locations throughout the five boroughs as an alternative to purchases of bottled water or sugar-sweetened beverages. Throughout the summer, portable NYC Water drinking fountains will be rotated between more than 20 different public plazas, parks, GrowNYC Greenmarkets, busy sidewalks, and special events around the city. This year, DEP has also developed a new iPhone/iPad mobile application (app) to help New Yorkers access the daily Water-On-the-Go program schedule. The app is free, and available for download at the iTunes Store. In addition, this summer Water-On-the-Go visitors can "Check-In" at fountains using Foursquare. While supplies last, visitors who "Check-In" regularly at Foursquare enabled Water-On-the-Go stations will have the opportunity to unlock a special for a free reusable NYC Water bottle, and those with the most "Check-Ins" will be declared "Mayor" of the Water-On-the-Go station. Last summer more than 200,000 people visited Water-On-the-Go drinking fountains, along with countless dogs. Commissioner Strickland, Commissioner Farley and Chief Digital Officer Sterne were joined by Parks First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh and Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer.
"DEP's top priority is to protect and deliver one of New York City's most precious resources: NYC Water. And each day we deliver more than one billion gallons of it to the nine million people we serve," said Commissioner Strickland. "During the summer, the Water-On-the-Go program gives us an opportunity to showcase clean, good tasting, unfiltered, and — at a penny a gallon — affordable NYC Water."
"Water-on-the-Go makes it easier for New Yorkers to swap sugar-sweetened beverages for the healthiest alternative of all, and with NYC Water, no portion is too big," New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said. "It's also true that your body needs more fluids during the warmer summer months in order to avoid dehydration and heat stroke, and there's no better way to stay cool and quench your summer thirst than with calorie-free water."
"Water-on-the-Go is a successful and refreshing New York City program, and now with the launch of the Foursquare partnership, New Yorkers can share with the world how much they love our delicious drinking water, and gain specials for their Water-on-the-Go visits," said Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne. "Congratulations to Commissioner Strickland and his team, and thanks to Foursquare, another successful, homegrown digital company."
"Park goers — and their pets — will now benefit from this additional way to stay hydrated in a free, easy and sustainable way when out enjoying the summer season," said NYC Parks First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh.
"Brooklyn Bridge Park is thrilled to be partners with the city to ensure that New York City drinking water is more available and accessible," said Regina Myer, President of Brooklyn Bridge Park. "As a waterfront park, we pride ourselves on being a destination that offers something for everyone and we're happy to add the possibility of becoming Foursquare ‘Mayor' of the park's Water-On-the-Go station!"
This summer, Water-On-the-Go drinking fountains will be regularly available in all five boroughs for the first time ever. The number of recurring Water-On-the-Go locations has more than doubled since last year, with DEP now rotating fountains among more than 20 different locations around the city. Notable additions to the program this year include Water-On-the-Go fountains at The High Line, and Yankee Stadium on select game days throughout the summer. Access to these and all Water-On-the-Go locations are enhanced this year through social media, including an official Water-On-the-Go Foursquare page. By using Foursquare to "Check-In" at Water-on-the-Go fountains, New Yorkers will have an opportunity to win an official reusable water bottle from NYC Water while supplies last. Visitors with the highest number of "Check-Ins" at any particular location will be declared Foursquare "Mayor" of the Water-On-the-Go station. For a complete list of Water-On-the-Go locations, visit nyc.gov/dep, call 311 or download the Water-On-the-Go mobile app.
NYC Water is internationally renowned for its quality. New York City is one of only five large cities in the country permitted to run a largely unfiltered drinking water supply, due in large part to the City's comprehensive watershed protection programs. DEP performs more than 1,000 daily tests of the city's drinking water taken from nearly 1,000 sampling locations throughout the city. This is in addition to the 225,000 tests performed annually throughout the watershed. NYC Water is a healthy alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages, containing zero calories, zero sugar, and zero fat. A typical 16-ounce bottle of soda contains about 180 calories and 20 cubes of sugar. Sports drinks, marketed as healthy alternatives, have as many calories as sugary beverages and usually contain high levels of sodium. NYC Water is also affordable — at approximately one penny per gallon, it is approximately 1,000 times less expensive than bottled water. NYC Water also helps promote the efforts of PlaNYC, Mayor Bloomberg's sustainability blueprint for the city; production of plastic water bottles for use in the United States uses 1.5 million barrels of oil a year — enough to power 250,000 homes or 100,000 cars all year.