Oh No, Where’s the H2o?

Oh No, Where’s the H2o?

California is experiencing drought weather, but that doesn’t mean Pierce College students should be unable to quench their thirsts.

Since the start of the fall semester, almost all drinking fountains on campus have been shut off and are unavailable.

In the Pierce courtyard, there are two working water bottle filling stations and four working drinking fountains. But drinking fountains in the Village and near classrooms are still off. 

The Los Angeles Community College District’s Director of College Facilities Paul Nieman and other employees have yet to publicly address the situation or share with The Roundup their plan of action to resolve it. 

Pierce student Sammy Johnson believes having accessible drinking fountains is beneficial because they are free to students.

“An alternative would be to get water from the vending machine, but the vending machine cost [money],” Johnson said. “A water fountain is much cheaper.”

Pierce student Nicole Burns said purchasing water from the student store is also an option, but can be costly.

“Since so many water fountains are closed or shut down, it’s harder to get a drink, and you have to go to the student store to pay for it,” Burns said. “Water fountains provide free water. It’ll be a lot more convenient if more water fountains were open.”  

Pierce student Maia Villalobos believes water should be accessible to everyone and students should not have to walk far on campus to find it.

“The thing with water is that it should be accessible for everyone,” Villalobos said. “It should be free,” Villalobos said. “You shouldn’t have to walk so far or go out of your way to buy water.”

Since so many drinking fountains are out of service, Villalobos has started bringing an extra water bottle from home. She finds that having accessible water bottle filling stations can encourage students to bring their reusable bottles from home. 

“If you imagine it, it’s like, at first when it was closed, it’s just like ‘OK, I need to make sure to bring water if I have enough.’ Like now, I just fill up my bottle from that one station I found.” 

Once more drinking fountains are available for use, Johnson said he may consider bringing his own reusable bottles to campus.

“I have reusable bottles at home that I for one would have definitely been more willing to bring to school if we had water fountains.”

Villalobos said the benefits of having more working drinking fountains on campus extend beyond just benefiting students. 

“I feel like it would be beneficial towards the planet to stop wasting plastic and save your money,” Villalobos said. “Overall, it’s very convenient.”

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