Northampton to become first “blue community” in the country

A final vote on this resolution will take place on June 1st.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Northampton is on its way becoming the country’s first “blue community.” Northampton city councilors have set out to ensure the city isn’t wasting any public water, while making it accessible to residents.

City councilors approved the first step Thursday night in a resolution for Northampton becoming the first “blue community” in America. Blue communities promise to protect water as a public resource and minimize the number of bottled waters consumed in the city.

“The idea is to change the consciousness of the community,” says Northampton city council president Bill Dwight.

Dwight said the idea was inspired by Canada, which has blue communities. “Maybe the community will start to appreciate the water systems that we do have and the water provisions that we do have, and that’s it’s protected from being turned into a commodity by private corporations.”

Those who support the idea say Northampton should do what Canada does: install enough water fountains and bottle-filling stations, put them in municipal buildings, and allow anybody to use them.

Dwight says the city council hasn’t figured out yet how much that idea would cost. If Northampton becomes a “blue community”, businesses wouldn’t be required to sell less bottled water, but they would be encouraged to refill re-usable bottles from the tap.

A final vote on this resolution will take place on June 1st.