Birds use water for preening and bathing, and on hot days, standing in cool water or taking a quick splash can help birds keep cool. While wild birds can – and do – take advantage of many natural water sources, from puddles and streams to lakes, rivers, ponds, and reservoirs, backyard water sources are equally valuable. In fact, a backyard water source is often even safer, since there are fewer natural predators and the water can be kept cleaner and fresher, helping birds stay cool, preened and healthy.

Fountains are used today to decorate city parks and squares; to honor individuals or events; for recreation and for entertainment. A splash pad or spray pool allows city residents to enter, get wet and cool off in summer. The musical fountain combines moving jets of water, colored lights and recorded music, controlled by a computer, for dramatic effects. Fountains can themselves also be musical instruments played by obstruction of one or more of their water jets.  Drinking fountains provide clean drinking water in public buildings, parks, and public spaces.