Pounds 200,000 Bill for Bottled Water; ENVIRONMENT: Councils Buy in Supplies for Thirsty Staff

Article excerpt

THIRSTY council By Sian Powell workers are glugging their way through pounds 200,000 of bottled water a year in Coventry and Warwickshire.

In a 12-month period in 2006 and 2007, Warwickshire County Council spent pounds 118,350 - more than pounds 2,000 a week - on drinking water.

And in Coventry, the figure was pounds 83,000.

The figure was revealed ahead of a national TV programme examining the effects of the bottled water industry on the planet.

The councils' totals include money spent not only on buying the water, but on cooling equipment, delivery charges and the water cooling systems.

A Coventry council spokesman said: "This figure includes the supply of water for coolers, the supply of cups and the sanitisa-tion of equipment.

"We are always looking for ways to achieve better value for money and we are exploring whether there are more efficient ways of getting our water.

"In some places we have already converted our taps so they can chill and filter water which is more cost effective and helps encourage staff to drink healthy water as an alternative to other drinks."

A Warwickshire County Council spokesman said: "We are always looking at ways we can reduce our impact on the environment and review our spending. …