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Don't Drink the Water

Yesterday on the 13th floor, the water cooler talk was about the water cooler itself. I'm not sure which Governing staffer was the first to ...

water-cooler-1.jpg Yesterday on the 13th floor, the water cooler talk was about the water cooler itself. I'm not sure which Governing staffer was the first to taste something funky in the Deer Park jug. But before long, there was a crowd of us in the kitchen, suspiciously sniffing our water before cautiously taking bitty sips. Several people thought it tasted like gasoline. I thought it tasted like fabric. The paranoia seems to have calmed a bit today: nobody's dead yet.

I tell this story because bottled water is the mini-scandal of the week in Los Angeles. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa banned city agencies from buying bottled water for their employees.

The action followed a LA Times story Tuesday noting that L.A. had spent $88,900 on bottled water, "despite spending $1 million in the last two years to assure Los Angeles residents that their tap water is not only safe to drink but also top quality."

According to the Times, the agency that spent the most on bottled water was...the water department. Oops!

Villaraigosa's memo says:

"City employees who choose to buy bottled water in their office units at their own expense are encouraged to continue to do so. However, bottled water should not be provided at the city's expense."

Christopher Swope was GOVERNING's executive editor.
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