Andy Lipkis

Lipkis drinks at TreePeople

This is Andy Lipkis drinking from a drinking fountain at the beautiful TreePeople’s headquarters. It was taken as a result of Andy telling me he’s been using the WeTap Google mapping app. “I’ve been taking photos of fountains,” he said, thrilling me to no end.

Sydney, Australia, photographer, Andy Lipkis

We spoke with each other at the screening of a documentary he is featured in called “Rock the Boat” about a group of adventurers, including my husband, Dr. Jeffrey Tipton, who ride down the LA River to prove navigability in order to get the LA River protected under the Clean Water Act, which it is now! It seems fitting that the following week I see Andy at a Council for Watershed Health event celebrating 40 years of the Clean Water Act. Andy and TreePeople (an organization he started in 1973 at the age of 17) is once again and most appropriately lauded by the keynote speaker Felicia Marcus of the State Water Resources Control Board, as an original and most effective leader in regards to protecting not only trees, but also water, another precious resource and treasure that many take for granted. This photo of Andy drinking from a drinking fountain on the park property of TreePeople is another beautiful indication of Andy’s life long commitment to all things water and nature and in this instance, helping WeTap promote the safety and quality of LADWP tap water which is delivered via a simple drinking fountain on the TreePeople grounds where thousands of visitors and students enjoy every year. Thanks Andy for showing us that drinking fountains are worth using and celebrating in our daily lives!

Please use the WeTap drinking fountain app, found at, to help gather information about the whereabouts and functionality of your local drinking fountains and please post photo’s on the WeTap wordpress blog or the WeTap Facebook page of people drinking from fountains in your neighborhoods, fountains and people that you love and believe benefit from the value of having tap water delivered from drinking fountains in your communities.


Thirsty? Ditch the Plastic Bottle With This Drinking Fountain App

When Los Angeles environmental activist Evelyn Wendel first learned about the ocean’s floating landfills several years ago, she started spreading the word like a reluctant physician in a hospital waiting room. “I tell people about the garbage patch,” Wendel says. “But I apologize when I do. I say, ‘I’m sorry to have to give you the bad news.’”

Read more at GOOD

Letter from National Park Service Director to Regional Directors

National Park Service
Grand Canyon National Park

Click here to read National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis’s policy letter to regional directors outlining their goals of banning the sale of single use plastic water bottles and improving drinking fountains and reusable water bottle refilling stations in ALL national parks throughout the country!

The Grand Canyon National Park continues upgrading drinking fountains and adding canteen refilling stations as a way to move the park from selling plastic water bottles to banning them. You can read about the ban and its controversy here.

Thank you Jonathan Jarvis for demonstrating your commitment to your words:  ‎”National parks are a gift from past generations to this and succeeding generations…My core responsibilities are to protect these landscapes, serve park visitors, and support community programs.”

The WeTap Map

The New Water Fountain WeTap Map: Where to Find a Drinking Water Fountain

WeTap is underway!  The effort to map the nation’s, and ultimately the world’s, drinking water fountains has been launched in a beta test mode. A very small number of people are running around with the Android smartphone application uploading information on the location and condition of drinking fountains. This beta-test is the very first stage in what eventually will be a massive “crowd-source” mapping effort to provide free public information on drinking water fountains. The improvements to the application will lead to a free version for everyone with an Android phone, and ultimately (we hope) ANY smartphone.

In the meantime, for those of you without the ability to go out and map new fountains, it is still possible to use your computer or ANY smartphone with a browser to see the fountains mapped. Here is the link:

You can look for a water fountain, and watch as new ones are added every day. Our first focus will be San Francisco Bay Area and the Los Angeles area. And if you WANT to be a beta-tester in these areas, and you have an Android phone, a gmail account, and a Picasa account, send an email to

The WeTap Drinking Water Fountain Map (Version 1.0)