California's Garden Water Fountains Study and Results

The first US city to implement a tax on sugary drinks was Berkley, California in February 2014. twfs013__89973.jpg By taxing sugary drinks, the city hopes to encourage a lot more people to select healthier options, such as water. First, the city conducted an analysis to assess whether residents had easy access to working drinking water fountains. Important information on the city’s drinking water fountains were assembled using a GPS created exclusively for the research. The US Census Community Study database was chosen to collect information pertaining to race and economic status in these locations. By cross-referencing the water fountain locations with the demographic information, they were in a position to ascertain whether access to working fountains was class reliant. Each water fountain and the demographics of its neighboring area were examined to reveal whether the site of the fountains or their standard of maintenance showed any relationship to income, race, or other factors. While the majority of the fountains were in working order, an alarming quantity were uncovered to be in a bad state of repairs.

The Stupendous Santa Maria in Cosmedin Fountain in Rome

Amazing finds of both Christian and pagan roots have been made by archaeologists and restorers in the area around Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome. The celebrated marble sculpture called the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) can be seen in the portico of the basilica nearby. The location of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin fountain (1719) was not in a well-known neighborhood and was, therefore, not oftentimes visited. For the most part, visitors stayed away from the area because it was a bleak and desolate part of the city. It was a this time that Pope Clement XI commissioned the Italian architect Carlo Bizzaccheri to put up a water fountain to refurbish the square outside the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. August 11, 1717 saw the start of the work to put down the foundation of the church. Medallions bearing the imagery of the Blessed Virgin, for whom the church is named, and of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of water, were thrown in the foundation following the blessing of the first stone.

A Short History of Water Fountains

As initially developed, fountains were crafted to be functional, directing water from streams or aqueducts to the inhabitants of towns and settlements, where the water could be used for cooking, washing, and drinking. The force of gravity was the power source of water fountains up until the end of the 19th century, using the forceful power of water traveling downhill from a spring or brook to squeeze the water through valves or other outlets. The splendor and wonder of fountains make them appropriate for historic monuments. The common fountains of today bear little similarity to the very first water fountains. The very first recognized water fountain was a natural stone basin carved that was used as a receptacle for drinking water and ceremonial purposes. The initial stone basins are believed to be from about 2000 BC. Gravity was the power source that controlled the initial water fountains.

The placement of the fountains was determined by the water source, which is why you’ll usually find them along reservoirs, canals, or rivers. Wildlife, Gods, and spectral figures dominated the early decorative Roman fountains, beginning to appear in about 6 B.C.. The Romans had an intricate system of aqueducts that provided the water for the numerous fountains that were located throughout the urban center.

Agrippa's Amazing, but Mostly Forgotten Water-Lifting Mechanism

The compliments Agrippa’s water-lifting invention earned by Andrea Bacci in 1588 was temporal. It may be that in 1592 when Rome’s latest waterway, the Acqua Felice, began providing the Villa Medici, there was simply no longer very much use for the system. Even though it’s more probable that it was simply tossed when Ferdinando renounced his cardinalship and moved back to Florence, protecting his position as the Grand Duke of Tuscany, after the death of his sibling, Francesco di Medici, in 1588. Renaissance gardens of the later part of the 16th century were home to works like melodious water fountains, scenographic water exhibits and water caprices (giochi d’acqua), but these were not brimming with water in ways that defied gravitation itself.

Impressive Fountains Across the World

The King Fahd Fountain (built in 1985) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, has the tallest consistently-running fountain on the planet. The water here shoots up to a elevation of 260 meters (853 feet) above the Red Sea.

The Han-Gang River in Seoul, Korea (2002), comes in 2nd with water levels of 202 meters (663 feet).

Occupying third place is the Gateway Geyser (1995), located close to the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri. With water reaching 192 meters (630 feet) in the air, this water fountain is the tallest in the United States.

Next is the fountain found in Karachi, Pakistan (Port Fountain) which shoots water up to 190 meters (620 feet) in height.

Number 4 is Water at Fountain Park (1970) situated in Fountain Hills, Arizona - it can reach up to 171 meters (561 feet) when all three pumps are running, even though it typically only hits up to 91 meters (300 feet).

The Dubai Fountain, opened to the public in 2009, is located near the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

It dances to pre-recorded music every half hour and propels water to the height of 73 meters (240 feet) - it also has extreme shooters which reach 150 meters (490 feet), though these are only used on special occasions.

Jetting water up to 147 meters (482 feet) high, the Captain James Cook Memorial Jet (1970) in Canberra, Australia, comes in seventh.

And at number 8, we have the the Jet d'eau, in Geneva (1951), measuring 140 meters (460 feet).

Outdoor Fountain Engineers Through History

Fountain designers were multi-talented individuals from the 16th to the later part of the 18th century, often serving as architects, sculptors, artisans, engineers and highly educated scholars all in one. Leonardo da Vinci as a inspired intellect, inventor and scientific virtuoso exemplified this Renaissance artist. The forces of nature inspired him to examine the properties and movement of water, and due to his curiosity, he methodically captured his ideas in his now celebrated notebooks. Early Italian fountain designers changed private villa configurations into innovative water displays full of emblematic meaning and natural beauty by combining imagination with hydraulic and horticultural expertise. Known for his virtuosity in archeology, architecture and garden design, Pirro Ligorio, the humanist, delivered the vision behind the splendors in Tivoli. Well versed in humanist topics and ancient scientific texts, some other water feature makers were masterminding the fascinating water marbles, water features and water pranks for the numerous estates around Florence.

Multi-level Fountains for your Outdoor Space

Gardens are common places to display a tiered fountain, a style which has historically been very fashionable. Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Spain generally have countless multi-level fountains. While they can be located anywhere, they are most typical in the center of building complexes and in popular areas where people gather. Tiered fountains come in a wide array of designs, from elaborately carved styles to relatively basic types.

Any area can be embellished with one, even though a more conventional setting is sometimes more suitable. It should seem as if the fountain has been part of the environment since the beginning and should blend in accordingly.


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