Mineral water cutbacks on tap for government ministries

Cabinet secretary calls for belt-tightening in water, recycled paper, electricity use.

mineral water 88 (photo credit: )
mineral water 88
(photo credit: )
Let them drink tap water. That, at least, was the directive Cabinet Secretary Ovad Yehezkel has sent to all the government ministries. Yehezkel told Sunday's cabinet meeting that a cubic meter of mineral water cost 1,000 times more than regular water, and that he is asking the ministries to do away with the mineral water in their offices and instead install water purifiers. He said this to ministers who, for the first time in recent memory, were sitting around a cabinet table bereft of the little blue plastic bottles of water. Yehezkel said that the British government implemented a similar policy last year, and that Israel could save millions of shekels by implementing this policy. He also called on the ministries to use only recycled paper, and said he was happy to hear that the Education Ministry, a huge paper consumer, had decided to do so. Israel was among the countries ranked last in the world in terms of the government's use of recycled paper, he said. And, finally, he asked the ministries to cut down on electricity usage, saying their annual collective electric bill was some NIS 750 million. He has asked the ministries to give him a report every two months about their electricity consumption, which he will then compare with other ministries and previous years' usage, and then publicize the results. Yehezkel also called on the Jewish Agency, Knesset and Supreme Court to adopt these measures. Also on Sunday, the cabinet decided that one day will be set aside each year as Teacher's Day, during which the country's teachers will be acknowledged and celebrated. Although the date has not yet been set, Yehezkel said it was likely to be fixed on the yartzeit of Janusz Korczak, who died with his students during the Holocaust.