In case you haven’t heard enough about the greatest public policy matter of our time, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) has declared “peace” on the issue of inaugural hydration.
To recap: Schumer, chair of Congress’ inauguration planning committee, announced last month that Saratoga Spring Water would be the official bottled water of the inaugural luncheon. D.C. Water took offense that its tap product was being dissed, and Schumer responded by noting that tap water indeed will be available.
The Post’s Ed O’Keefe quizzed Schumer today on the topic at the Democratic National Convention. Said the senator, “We have made peace, and people who want tap water can get tap water.”
But peace may not have reached all corners. Peter Gleick, a well-known water scientist who wrote about the inaugural spat for the Huffington Post, told me last week he wasn’t wholly satisfied with Schumer’s letter addressing the issue.
Gleick said the letter “is worded in a very odd way” that suggests that tap water will not have pride of place at the inaugural event.
“NOWHERE in the letter does he actually say that tap water will be served at the luncheon,” he writes. “He says it will be ‘available just as it is every day.’ This suggests it will NOT be served, or he would have said so. Does this mean that those at the luncheon wanting tap water will have to find the nearest faucet or water fountain? He should be forced to state, explicitly, that tap water will be on every table.”
Unclear how far Schumer’s Tuesday statement — “we’re serving it to anyone who wants it” — goes toward addressing those concerns.
UPDATE, 9/5: Gleick has a new item over at HuffPo explaining his concerns about Schumer’s comments: “Here’s what would put this issue to rest — explicit ‘yes’ answers from the Committee to the following simple questions:Will DC tap water be placed on every table and at every place setting at the Inaugural Luncheon, automatically and without request? Will only sparkling bottled water be served, as the commercial option?”