Policy Solution

Public water features



Summary: Public water features provide cooling and hydration to people during heatwaves. Examples include hydration stations, drinking fountains, urban rivers, and recreational water features.

Implementation: Incorporate water feature installation requirements into City plans or update existing water features for use during extreme heat.

Considerations for Use: Water features may raise humidity. Building water features is ideal for areas with air movement and dry air. Areas that are drought-sensitive may consider spray parks over pools/larger bodies of water. Cities that use sprinklers to irrigate parks can publicize times to allow children to play. Regular maintenance and monitoring is required in order to manage water quality and consumption. Cities should conduct water quality checks, safety reviews, and provide adequate signage. Create a map to identify public water structures and share relevant information.

  • Policy Levers:

    CommitmentGovernments set ambitious goals or targets to guide prioritization and investment.
  • Trigger Points:

    City planning processesIncludes city initiatives such as the development of climate action plan, pathway to zero-energy, master plan, transit plan, energy mapping etc.
    Preparatory measures (actions to establish authority to act)Actions to establish/ ensure the authority to act when appropriate trigger-points occur.
  • Intervention Type:
    Green/natural Infrastructure
  • Sectors:
    Informal Settlements, Parks


  • Target Beneficiaries:
    Heat-vulnerable communities, Residents
  • Phase of Impact:
    Risk reduction and mitigation
  • Metrics:
    Number of community members with access to features, Number of water features per area


  • Intervention Scale:
  • Authority and Governance:
    City government
  • Implementation Timeline:
    Short-term (1-2 Years)
  • Implementation Stakeholders:
    CBOs, City government
  • Funding Sources:
    Grants and philanthropy, Public investment
  • Capacity to Act:
    High, Medium


  • Cost-Benefit:
  • Public Good:
  • GHG Reduction:
  • Co-benefits (Climate/Environmental):
  • Co-benefits (Social):
    Build social cohesion, Improve human health, Improve the public realm