Increasingly fed up with the widespread practice among restaurants of refusing to serve tap water, some residents are calling for a law that would require it to be offered for free. Is such a law really necessary? Here are five simple alternatives.

Bathroom faucet

Those calling for free tap water are oblivious to the fact that most restaurants already do offer free tap water -- it just happens to be located in the restrooms and doesn’t come in a container. Whenever diners feel the need to hydrate, they can simply excuse themselves to the loo, open their mouths below the running faucet, and drink their thirst away.

Drinking trough

If it was good enough for farm workers in the 19th century, it’s good enough for diners today. With little cost and maintenance, restaurants can place a large water trough near the entrance where customers can kneel and slurp -- before and after they eat. Best of all, with the rate of smoking going down, the drinking trough can replace the traditional smokers’ nook.


With frequent rain and a humid climate, Luxembourg is the ideal place for condensation to collect on flat surfaces. There’s no reason why restaurant customers should be ashamed to do like our ancestors did and lick water droplets from windows, walls, or wherever else they form. And given how pure water vapor is, it’s no surprise that such water is perhaps the cleanest you can find.

Bring your own

While few diners feel comfortable pulling out their own water bottle at the table, few would find it embarrassing to step outside to take a little sip. If leaving the table 10 or 11 times during a meal seems excessive, savvy diners can take one big gulp and fill their cheeks with water -- and store it until they need to wash some food down.

Free tap water … but

Perhaps the best solution, and one that will please both sides of this issue, is to require restaurants to offer free water, but only the actual water. Those who wish to drink from a glass will be charged two or three euros in plumbing, transportation, and dishwashing fees. As for budget-conscious diners, they can tip their heads back and let the server pour cool, clean tap water directly down their throats, all for one low surcharge.


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