Five refill stations will installed as part of a pilot programme in locations across Newry, Mourne and Down district.
The scheme, championed by Independent Councillor Mark Gibbons, will see the first three stations located at Warrenpoint Municipal Park, Kilbroney Forest Park and Newcastle Promenade.
A further two will be installed at Cranfield beach and Hill Street in Newry.
A proposal to introduce a pilot scheme, similar to the NI Water led initiative #Refillution – to actively promote the personal use of reusable water bottles and facilitate water refill stations – was Councillor Gibbons’s first motion brought before the chamber.
“The motion was fully supported at the time and I am delighted to have received a positive update after a lengthy delay due to the ongoing pandemic,” said Councillor Gibbons.
“Five outdoor refill station water fountains will be installed once restrictions ease. These fountains will be installed for public use at a number of places as a pilot project.
“Alongside this pilot scheme funding has been secured from the Sea Changers Charity to purchase an additional External Fountain at Cranfield Beach.”
Sea Changers is a UK wide charity which promotes protecting and valuing our seas and oceans.
Additionally a fountain has been funded by Department for Infrastructure as part of environmental improvements, for one to be placed in Hill Street, Newry.
Councillor Gibbons added: “This Water Fountain initiative is just one small body of work that forms part of the Council’s Single Use Policy and Strategy and I thank Love Your Lough for their guidance at the beginning and all the Council staff who continue to work hard in the background, making sure that important environmental initiatives like these keep moving and become an eventual reality.
“The scourge of single use plastic has been more prevalent now than ever.
“I hope that these fountains will help with the ongoing battle against the use of single use plastic-and when installed, inspire a little change for the better in all of us. One sip at a time.”
Sign up for our weekly newsletter here.