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Does he have shares in Kemble Water?

John Spellar, MP for Warley seems a tad fixated on tap water, having signed a Unison-inspired EDM in January demanding "that the House authorities should take steps to ensure that fresh, well presented tap water is provided throughout the parliamentary estate as the norm wherever practicable", and that having had no impact (fancy...) is now harassing the House of Commons Commission.

What is well-presented tap water anyway? Will there be a bow around the tap and maybe a Fabergé drip tray?

Anyway, Spellar's questioning reveals that "A total of 105,957 litres of bottled water was sold by the House of Commons Refreshment Department in 2006-07. In the same year, 16,200 litres of bottled water were supplied to the Department of the Serjeant at Arms for use in Committee Rooms, and 34,000 litres of bottled water were provided mainly in water coolers to staff of the House". That does not strike me as that outrageous, frankly, and it is reasonably encouraging that folk actually fork out for the stuff rather than raiding the coolers.

That, however was not good enough for the profoundly bearded member for Warley: "is it not time [the Commons] started to reduce its use of bottled water, to use tap water and to stop all the waste of the empty bottles, too?" What does he have against freedom of choice? And should he not factor in that fizzy water is not available from many taps, or indeed that any drink other than tap water is unnecessary?

The bash the mineral water industry meme is one of Unison's favourite hobby horses, and I do wonder quite what they have against the folk who work in the industry. It is not as though choosing to drink mineral water / spring water etc rather than tap will result in the water utility companies going to the wall, or even that drinking more tap will send utility company share prices through the roof, so it all seems a staggeringly pointless exercise unless is is a case of 'real' workers ganging up on namby pamby mineral water workers, who one might note, tend to be employed in out of the way places rather than in the middle of Westminster, or dare I say it, in Warley.

To add to the absurdity, there is also the issue of cleaning any bottles / coolers that are re-used, plus the washing of glasses or whatever, whereas many will drink straight from the bottle and then, perhaps, recycle it.

Kemble Water owns Thames Water, by the way.

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Blogger Ed said... 9:39 am

Drinking mineral water is horrifically energy inefficient (transport, bottles, etc.) but I bet it's a **drop in the ocean** compared to the other things we waste energy on...  



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