Water scarcity is a recognized global problem, with demand for water projected to exceed supply by 40% by 2030. By the same year, half the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress.
Hotel companies have both a strong commercial and moral imperative for addressing water use. Cost is a clear factor: water accounts for 10% of utility bills in many hotels.
Most hotels pay for the water they consume twice – first by purchasing fresh water and then by disposing of it as waste water. According to the UK’s Environment Agency, depending on their water efficiency, hotels can reduce the amount of water consumed per guest per night by up to 50% compared with establishments with poor performance in water consumption.
The moral reasons are equally compelling: water is a scare resource in many resorts around the world so hotels have a responsibility not to use more than necessary; in rural or remote areas it ensures that local residents are not deprived of their essential supply; and by reducing the amount of waste-water that needs to be treated, this lessens the risk of water pollution.
The private sector is a major water user and often completely dependent on water for production and service delivery. The Hospitality industry is one of these where water plays a determining part in everyday operations and potential growth.