DC Water Bottles Congress

Agency wants House to switch to tap

By P.J. Orvetti
|  Friday, Jan 7, 2011  |  Updated 7:39 AM EDT
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DC Water Bottles Congress

shrff14, Shutterstock

One of the first acts of the new Republican Congress was to push through a 5 percent cut in House members’ office budgets, a symbolic measure that will reduce the budget deficit by $35 million. (The vote was overwhelmingly bipartisan, though Virginia Democrat Jim Moran was one of just 13 “no” votes.)

Getting in on the budget-trimming trend, DC Water GM George Hawkins is hoping the Capitol Hill Republicans will switch to tap water for brewing up their tea.

In a letter to Speaker John Boehner, Hawkins notes that House offices spent $190,000 on bottled water in the first three months of 2010, even though “water is a resource that is essentially free at the tap.”

“If fiscal responsibility is your aim,” Hawkins continues, “I should point out that our water costs about a penny a gallon. Bottled water costs hundreds of times more.”

DC Water is offering members of Congress free reusable water bottles, and sent 10 to Boehner and his top staff to give it a try. The local water authority is also offering free water quality testing in any congressional building.

DC Water’s Pamela Mooring said it’s about more than just saving money.

“Bottled water production and transportation in the United States uses enough oil to fuel about 1.5 million cars each year,” she said. “And that plastic has to go somewhere. Nearly 2.5 million tons of plastic bottles and jars were thrown away in 2008,” and “often, it chokes our environment.”

Sounds like a no-brainer for Boehner.

Follow P.J. Orvetti on Twitter at @PJOinDC

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