The Changing Landscape of Water: How to Save On Hotel Water Demands and Expenses
By Luna Phillips Shareholder, Gunster LLP | November 25, 2018
Co-authored by Elizabeth Ross & Lauren Shumate, Gunster LLP
Across the United States, fresh water supplies are reaching sustainable limits. Factors such as steadily increasing populations, relocation of people to water-strained regions, escalating irrigation demands, and climatic events are combining to strain our nation's water resources. Readily available water supply sources have largely been allocated, so the shift toward water conservation and development of alternative sources to meet increasing demands is widespread. State and local regulations to protect the natural resource and limit demands are also on the rise.
Located near beautiful, natural wonders and in urban areas, hotels and resorts often feel the pinch of these limitations. Moreover, guests are frequently sensitive to the strain on natural resources and watch for their hotelier's eco-friendly commitments, as a survey conducted by TripAdvisor found that 79 percent of travelers look for eco-friendly accommodations. All of this comes with a price – increased demand and limited supplies drive up the price we all pay for water. With information and planning, hotel executives can make the most out of dwindling water resources – and make it happen with business sense.
Water Demands and Supply Sources
Hotel and resort water demands typically involve: potable needs for domestic-type use as well as AC cooling water and irrigation-quality water demands. Depending on facility size and visitor population, daily demands can exceed those of some cities. The Walt Disney Company (Disney), a world-wide business and environmental stewardship leader, totals their annual Theme Park and Resort water use at approximately 8 billion gallons. Taking their resource 'footprint' seriously, Disney established an action plan to accomplish their comprehensive environmental stewardship goals and targets. Understanding your hotel's water rights and evaluating options can yield a plan to improve the bottom-line and contribute to resource sustainability.