If Boris Johnson supports the London On Tap campaign, then why are Tube stations covered in posters advising people to carry a bottle of water in the hot weather? I definitely saw one such poster (bearing Boris' "MAYOR OF LONDON" logo) today, including an image of a disposable plastic water bottle. The carbon footprint of some brands of bottled water can be up to 300 times more than that of tap water, and the Mayor himself has said: "Bottled water is environmentally damaging because it causes unnecessary waste and pollution. Tap water is a cheaper option which will also help protect and preserve the environment." Why, therefore, is he spending taxpayers' money on posters that encourage people to drink bottled water? What happened to the water fountains that he promised us?
Tap versus bottled water is a serious environmental issue (which came to my particular attention when I worked for Thames Water, of whom (to declare an interest) I am an ex-employee). The Greater London Authority is clearly taking steps to improve access to drinking water. Do these posters really square with the Mayor's proclaimed "vision" of more accessible drinking water?
London is enjoying and enduring the meteorological equivalent of Gordon Browns's boom-and-bust economic policy, as this morning's rainy chill gives way to the start of a heat wave. London's ergonomics don't suit hot weather, hence the need for Londoners to keep cool with water - although even that is arguably not as true as it might be. But that doesn't justify encouraging people to carry bottles of water, given all the other drinks that can be bought, and given how easy it is not to buy anything, but instead to fill a receptacle with water from a tap at home or at work.