Would you like bottled water or tap water? While the question used to be reserved for those dining at nice restaurants, it has become a political one. Government officials, already planning the presidential inauguration, are requesting that tap water replace bottled water as the drink provided to attendees.
Washington D.C.’s water authority, George S. Hawkins, wrote to Democratic New York senator Charles Schumer last Thursday to voice his appeal. Schumer has already chosen New York-based Saratoga Springs water to be available at the event, so guests could taste New York’s high quality water. Hawkins stated, “If you choose to provide costly, environmentally harmful bottled water, we encourage you to at least provide attendees with a choice and also offer local DC tap water.” Saratoga Springs water replied saying they would be providing sparkling water as an alternative to tap.
Although the public has heard plenty about the benefits of tap water over bottled in terms of both waste and pollution, this new debate may highlight a wider change as more people turn away from the ubiquitous disposable bottles. If the government refuses to provide them, then people may begin to increasingly view bottled water as wasteful and unnecessary. Whether or not the logistics work out for providing tap water over bottled water, it will be interesting to see if this prompts a shift to make tap water more widely available.