Green Practices Guide: a focus on water conservation practices in hotels

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18/07/2016 - Hospitality

TFG Asset Management’s Green Practices Guide series will this month focus on water management in hotels, an area that is often overlooked by hoteliers.

The UAE’s growing water footprint has been well documented, which highlights the urgent need for the hotel industry to implement effective water-saving and management measures.

According to The Hoteliers’ Guide to Going Green, the white paper written by TFG Asset Management, hotel properties can focus on water management across three main areas: bathrooms, the laundry area and in swimming pools.

1. Bathroom area:

a/ Reuse of Towels & Linens: Guests should be encouraged to leave the towels they wish to be washed on the floor and hang out those that can still be used. One way to educate and improve guest awareness is to leave a note in the bathroom informing them about the amount of water consumed to wash guests’ towels and linens.

b/ Install water pressure and flow control systems: Apply water flow reducers or aerators on showerheads, sinks or toilet flushes that control the water pressure. According to DEWA, this can save up to 30% of water usage (DEWA., n.d). Hotels should introduce dual flush toilets.

c/ Maintenance: Continuous maintenance of bathrooms to safeguard against water leakage is essential. According to Hunter Water research, a leaking toilet can waste up to 16,000 litres of water per year (Hunter Water, n.d). If problems are reported and rectified immediately, water usage and corrective expenses will be limited.

d/ Change washers: Dripping taps can waste up to 20,000 litres of water per year. Hotels are encouraged to change washers when necessary (Hunter Water, n.d).

2. Laundry Area:

a/ It is highly recommended to only operate washing machines with full loads (DEWA, n.d)

b/ Maintain a holding tank that can be reused as wash water in the next wash. The installation will minimise water consumption (DEWA, n.d).

c/ Water softener can be installed to mitigate the water usage (Graci & Kuehnel, 2011).

3. Swimming Pool Area:

a/ Water softener can be installed to mitigate the water usage (Graci & Kuehnel, 2011).

b/ A pool cover is recommended as it helps reduce evaporation by up to 95% (Hunter Water, n.d)

4. Other Green Practices in Hotels:

a/ Hotels should consider using a water recycling plant, which obtains greywater and treats it so it can be used for other purposes such as for gardening.

b/ Solar power is becoming a popular option in the UAE and all future buildings will incorporate solar energy usage. Hotels are encouraged to install a solar-energy based water heating system to save the costs of gas for heating water on demand.

c/ Staff need to be trained to identify and report leakages in bathrooms, plumbing systems and water pipes etc.

You can download the full study of The Hoteliers’ Guide to Going Green by TFG Asset Management on TFG Asset Management Library or HospitalityNet.