Today, I will sign an Executive Order barring the non-emergency purchase of bottled water by City government. The Order will help the environment by reducing the amount of plastic trash we discard and save taxpayers approximately $25,000. Those are good results.
But, the real purpose of my Order is call attention to a resource. We have an abundant supply of high-quality water in the City. That seems like something that might be taken for granted. But, it isn’t and we don’t.
Around the world, billions of people do not have access to clean drinking water. Even in other parts of this country, some places face chronic shortages of clean water that require periodic rationing.
We have never had to worry about that in St. Louis.
Thanks to the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers - and thanks to the hard work of the people in our Water Division - we have a lot of water and a lot of clean water. Under former director Dave Visitainer and now with Curtis Skouby, our Water Division is a world class operation.
Of course, I have no intention of either dehydrating City employees or driving them to alternative beverages. I have asked that $15,000 awarded to the City last year by the United States Conference of Mayors for having the best tasting water in the country be used to purchase re-usable bottles to give to City employees. I encourage our employees to use these re-usable bottles to drink tap water, rather than using bottled water.
You’ll be able to see the new bottles at City Hall today - and, if experience is any indicator, on eBay tomorrow.