Guest writers Simone and Andrea investigate the campus water drought and share their findings. 

In my personal experience, one of the most hidden resources on campus has been water. John Jay’s singular water fountain has been suffering from extensive repairs thus far, so I decided to conduct a search to report the latest in the search for water at Columbia, our scarcest resource. 

John Jay: Water from this fountain will often just barely trickle out, but luckily, when it’s working, the water is in high supply. The water streams out rapidly, and I witnessed it splash a passing student just yesterday. They recently added a trash can to catch the excessive spray. On its best days, the water from this fountain tastes only a little bit off. 

Wallach: I’ve only been to this fountain once, trekking there when the John Jay water fountain was fully out of commission. Unfortunately, much to the disappointment of me and my other John Jay peers, it, too, was broken when I tried it out. 

Ferris: Signs in Ferris explain that filling up one’s water bottle with the soda machine is strictly prohibited. I was planning to break this sacred rule, but when I tried to simply fill up a cup during a meal, I was dismayed to find that one of the machines was out of water. I tried out the other soda machine, but I had only filled up a quarter of a cup before the machine was drained of its water supply. 

Carman: Students in Carman have unprecedented access to water fountains, which are available on each floor. When I walked the distance to fill up my water bottle, the pressure and taste of the water was excellent. I wonder if the rest of us are becoming dehydrated because water (clearly a limited resource here) is being given exclusively to the athletes in Carman.

Britas at Columbia: I recently acquired a Brita to combat my dehydration, but the one sold at University Hardware is probably the smallest one I’ve ever seen. Besides its small size, I’ve found myself procrastinating washing out the filter 3 times (which I’ve heard you’re supposed to do??).

Inconveniences concerning campus’ water DROUGHT continues across the street at Barnard! Hooray! These are ways that Barnard’s water fountains have made me even more dehydrated during summer’s hottest week:

Reid 8th floor: That green light on the filter indicator gets me so giddy every time. Yet, with this being the water fountain closest to my dorm, I would love for this drink to be AT LEAST room temperature. Nonetheless, I am eternally grateful to see any form of water in my bottle, even if it’s a little warm. 

Milstein 3rd floor: My water bottle of average size fails to fit underneath the faucet. Yeah. The great privilege of water is unavailable to me during my most vulnerable time (anytime I have to do a reading for a class).

Diana 2nd floor: Similar to Milstein, the faucet is too short for any normally sized water bottle. I powered through and got Diana water which sprayed everywhere. My clothes are wet. There’s a puddle on the floor. There is no WATER in my WATER bottle. 

Barnard Hall 1st floor: A green light! Hooray! And it took five whole minutes to fill ONE THIRD of my water bottle (did i mention how averagely-sized this water bottle is?). I wanted to time the whole experience but someone was in fact impatiently tapping their foot behind me. What can a girl do? 

Milbank 3rd floor: Water didn’t even bother to come out. Who knows where this prestigious drink has departed! 
As the sun slowly leaves and the weather starts to cool, we can now reminisce on what was last week’s heat. We walked across campus with dry mouths. Thought we would die of heat exhaustion. But, the one thing that was never by our side—water.

The Holy Grail via Bwog Archives.