New Rich Members and Tap Water

On Wednesday, November 16, the Parliamentary Committee for the Environment put forward a proposal by the PS to have water from […]

On Wednesday, November 16, the Parliamentary Committee on the Environment rejected a proposal by the PS to have tap water available at parliamentary meetings.

However, having voted against, the PSD approved a project to study the costs and benefits of the measure, within a maximum period of 30 days.

The proposal was based on the fact that, between January and November 2010, 35 liters of mineral water had been consumed in Parliament, while 45 bottles of 330 ml, 2.000 bottles of liters and a half were thrown away. 78 thousand plastic cups…

For all this, this decision of a Parliamentary Committee and, on top of that, of a Parliamentary Committee of Environment, leaves me perplexed.

For now because, by refusing tap water, you (Parliamentary Committee) of Environment!) who voted against demonstrate the extent of their provincialism and their ignorance.

Because, since they like to go and copy “what is done abroad” so much, they might have already noticed that out there, in countries richer than Portugal, tap water has been the only one present on the tables for years. meetings, conferences, debates. In a jug, with glass cups beside it, there is tap water.

Just two years ago, when I was in Copenhagen (Denmark), shortly before the start of COP15, in all public ceremonies, interviews, conferences and visits in which I participated as a journalist, there was the ubiquitous jug with tap water. And everyone drank it.

But it is not just parochialism that the rejection of this measure demonstrates: it is also ignorance. Because Portugal – and in this the Algarve is a pioneer – has the best public water supply in Europe and that of Lisbon is considered of high quality. Therefore, drinking tap water is completely safe for any Lisboner, even if he is a deputy.

Then there is the issue of example and costs. According to journalist Ricardo Garcia, from Público, the Portuguese Parliament spent 8.000 euros on bottled water last year, while tap water would have cost 56 euros.

At a time when the Portuguese only hear talk (and feel it!) of cuts, cost containment, the need to save, deputies would have been very happy to have voted in favor of the proposal.

A saving of 7.944 euros may seem like a drop of water to these honorable Members, but it is with these small savings, and, above all, with a change in habits and behavior, that we can get somewhere!

These days, if only to set an example, you should have voted – everyone! – in favor of the proposal and even extend it to all the water consumed in the Assembly of the Republic.

And, as Ricardo Garcia also says, whoever does not want to drink tap water, pay for the water bottles in your pocket. Certainly gentlemen have the money for that!