Implementing a Water Conservation Program at Your Hotel

By Russ Horner Co-founder, Water Management, Inc. | March 10, 2013

In the last 30 years, water and sewer rates have increased faster than even the cost of oil. The typical busy hotel manager and engineer has an overflowing plate and now they must add the management and reduction of water and waste water costs. In this article, we will look at:

  • The rising cost of water bills
  • Water use benchmarks for hotels
  • Getting started, and
  • An introduction to new national codes, standards and rating systems that will impact hotel operations.

Future articles will drill down into actual ways to reduce water use, techniques to calculate payback, and ways to make water efficiency work for them.

Rising Costs

Silently, almost out of notice, water and wastewater costs have been skyrocketing. As the following graph shows, water and wastewater rates nationally have risen even faster than oil over the last thirty years, and based on recent trends, this increase is not slowing down. Many hotel managers are finding that becoming more water efficient is a very effective way to improve their bottom line.

According to the Earth Policy Institute, between 2002 and 2007, municipal water rates increased an average of 27 percent in the United States, 32 percent in the United Kingdom, 45 percent in Australia, 50 percent in South Africa, and 58 percent in Canada. This is a worldwide trend.

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Coming up in October 2018...

Revenue Management: Getting it Right

Revenue Management has evolved into an indispensable area of hotel operations, chiefly responsible for setting forecasting and pricing strategies. Because the profession is relatively new to the hotel and hospitality industries, a clear-cut definition of what exactly Hotel Revenue Management is has only recently emerged - Selling the Right Room to the Right Client at the Right Moment at the Right Price on the Right Distribution Channel with the best commission efficiency. Though the profession can be summed up in a single sentence, that doesn't mean it's easy. In fact, it's an incredibly complicated and complex endeavor, relying on mountains of data from a wide range of sources that must be analyzed and interpreted in order to formulate concrete pricing strategies. To accomplish this, Revenue Managers rely on an array of sophisticated technology systems and software tools that generate a multitude of reports that are central to effective decision-making. As valuable as these current technology systems are, much of the information that's collected is based on past historical trends and performance. What's new is the coming of big, data-driven, predictive software and analytics, which is likely to be a game-changer for Revenue Managers. The software has the capacity to analyze all the relevant data and predict occupancy levels and room rates, maximizing hotel profitability in the process. Another new trend that some larger hotel chains are embracing is an emphasis on Booking Direct. For Revenue Managers, this is another new channel with its own sales and costs that have to be figured into the mix. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.