Minn. hits the bottle hard

The state needs to stop buying bottled water and switch to tap.

Daily Editorial Board

A local campaign that encourages the government to “think outside the bottle” is gaining strength. Interest groups and small local businesses have joined forces to compel Gov. Mark Dayton to end the state purchase of bottled water.

In 2009, Minnesota government agencies spent $475,000 on bottled water. Not only is spending so many state dollars on bottled water extremely frivolous, it is harmful to MinnesotaâÄôs economic infrastructure. The state should reinvest taxpayer dollars in infrastructure that increases the economic wellbeing of the state instead of consuming products made out-of-state.

The state spends millions of dollars to provide a public water system to its citizens. The tap water that it encourages its citizens to use should also be good enough for government functions.

Dayton should take his cue from Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and issue a directive that ends all state spending on bottled water. State resources could then be reinvested in the public water system.

Rybak is already a nationwide leader for investing in the public water system and ridding the government of bottled water. He has created a “water fund” financed by revenues generated from the sale of public water. Rybak calls himself the CEO of the city: Public water is a city product, and it is his job to sell that product.

New York, Colorado and Illinois have already committed to going bottled-water free, and Rybak is facilitating tap water investment from the mayorâÄôs office. It is time for Minnesota CEO Dayton to step up and make a statewide commitment to hydrating the stateâÄôs economic infrastructure.