Will Hotels Pull The Plug During Water Crisis?

With Day Zero imminent, residents are in full water-saving mode. But what about the hospitality industry? Are they pulling the plug too?
Melissa Cohen
With Day Zero looming, the City has implemented a disaster plan. Phase One of the Critical Waters Management Disaster Shortage Plan(CWMDSP) is in full effect. Residents and businesses are faced with a big water-saving task. Companies need to reduce their total water consumption by 20%. With the festive season fast approaching, will hotels limit guests' water usage? We find out...

What Is The Disaster Plan?

Just over a month ago, Mayor Patricia De Lille implemented level five water restrictions. The aim was to limit the daily water usage to 500 million litres. The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg explained that all businesses must comply with the City's water laws.
"Businesses, including hotels and shopping malls, will be affected by water rationing. They need to adhere to the Level 5 water restrictions."

How Is This Affecting The Tourism Industry? 

The Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa's Chairperson, Jeff Rosenberg has confirmed that the industry will continue to "think out the box".
"As we face this drought disaster, we are reminded every day that we simply cannot do without water. It’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure that we do our bit to conserve and take care of this scarce, much-needed natural resource," explains Rosenberg in a press release.
Various hotels around the city have already started water-saving campaigns to educate their foreign visitors on the current crisis.
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Hotel Rules

FEDHASA recently met up with the City Of Cape Town to sign a water-wise pledge. They have challenged the private sector and all small businesses to save water. Spier Farm Management and Resort in Stellenbosch, the Hotel Verde Cape Town Airport and Tsogo Sun Hotels in Cape Town have already introduced viable water saving initiatives.

Spier Farm Management and Resort

Ten years ago, Spier developed a waste water recycling project. Spier has managed to recycle 100% of their waste through a treatment plant. According to FEDHASA's stats, the hotel has managed to save 55% of their water by enforcing its extra drought crisis effects.

Hotel Verde Cape Town Airport 

The Hotel Verde boasts a variety of environmentally sustainable features. The hotel has introduced a grey recycling system. All the toilets inside are installed with half flush toilet buttons. The Hotel Verde is constantly trying to create long-term, innovative water-saving ideas. Here are some of their long-term goals:
  • Installing low flow technology to save more water;
  • Investigating a Reverse Osmosis plant to reduce the hotel’s dependency on the municipal water supply.
The Hotel Verde achieved the double Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum Certification. This was for "using only 35% of water required by a hotel of the same size, saving 65% in total."

Tsogo Sun Hotels

Tsogo Sun Hotels have been one of the city's top water wise hotels.  The hotel has saved close to 300 000 litres of water/day over a six month period. Here is how Tsogo Sun saves water:
  • Removing bath plugs from bathrooms to discourage guests from taking a bath;
  • Encouraging shorter showers;
  • Changing bed linen on guest departure;
  • Installing water restrictors on shower heads;
  • Replacing linen serviettes with paper serviettes in the restaurant;
  • Issuing water saving tips to guests at check-in;
  • Water saving signage displayed in all public areas.
There are possible talks of desalination plants, for the Southern Sun, The Cullinan and the Southern Sun Waterfront. *For more information on the water crisis and water saving, click here.
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