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Water Conservation Management Planning Workshop (Tourist Accommodation)

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Fresh water is a diminishing resource worldwide. The accommodation sector is extremely vulnerable yet capable of reducing its consumption while saving money and assuring a more sustainable future. …

Fresh water is a diminishing resource worldwide. The accommodation sector is extremely vulnerable yet capable of reducing its consumption while saving money and assuring a more sustainable future. This workshop enables property owners and operators to develop their individual water conservation plan, resulting in an immediate reduction in water demand from guests, staff and ongoing operations.

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  • 1. Water Conservation Management Workshop Preparing a Water Conservation Management Plan for your accommodation facility
  • 2. St. Eustatius Water Conservation Management Workshop Water Conservation Through Corporate Planning A Water Conservation Management Workshop was delivered by James MacGregor during the Statia Sustainability Conference, September 25 to 27, 2013 on the Dutch Caribbean Island of St. Eustatius. Participants were introduced to the Caribbean, local and international issues associated with the diminishing fresh water resources and the important contribution the tourism industry, and particularly the accommodation and food services sectors can make to conserving water. All areas of water use within the lodging facility where identified and both techniques and technologies where presented to enable the reduction of water consumption by guests and staff. In order to assist property owners and operators with their conservation initiatives, an exclusive ‘planning and auditing workbook’ was designed to bring the workshop delegates through each phase of the process of developing a water conservation management plan. The workbook also served as an operator manual for ongoing conservation initiatives. All delegates left the session with their own corporate strategy which they could start to implement immediately upon return to their property
  • 3. WATER Our Diminishing Resource Water has become possibly the most vulnerable resource on our planet. its diminishing quantity and quality threatens the very existence of life as we know it. The tourism industry is a significant consumer of this precious commodity and yet remarkably little is being done by the stakeholders in this sector to protect and conserve their remaining sources of fresh water. Although 75% of the planet’s surface is covered by water, there is remarkably little that is available for human consumption. Only 3% can be considered freshwater and two thirds of that is bound up in the polar caps leaving a mere 1% available for our use. Furthermore most of that water is only available in the Great Lakes of North America and Lake Baikal in Russia. The projections are discouraging. By 2030 it is estimated that demand will exceed supply by 40%. We already have approximately 800 million people who do not have adequate drinking water and this can be expected to rise dramatically in the next two decades. The tourism sector well undoubtedly continue to increase its demand for freshwater. Tourism volumes are increasing with 1.6 billion international travellers in 2020 as well as possibly another 7 billion domestic travelers. Also the demand for higher quality tourism products, water activities and food services due to an increases in disposable income will require more water than ever. Tourism must also compete with other industry sectors such as agriculture which will as well require more water to feed an expanding population. It’s a shocking fact but if we continue to grow as a population with increasing demands we will need 3.5 planets to maintain us by 2050 when the population is expected to peak at 9 billion. As well as increased demand by population growth, the depletion of our fossil water sources and ground water will contribute to a decline in available fresh water. Climate change is also creating new “water stressed” zones around the world and much of the Caribbean region falls into this category.
  • 4. Water Conservation in the Caribbean Accommodation Sector Faced with the challenges of conserving water the Island of St. Eustatius, in the Dutch Caribbean sponsored an ecoplannet Water Conservation Management Workshop for both accommodation suppliers as well this other tourism stakeholders. The workshop was conducted during the annual Statia Sustainability Conference, sponsored by the STATIA Tourism Foundation that coincides with each annual UNWTO campaign. The 2013 campaign focused on water conservation therefore the ecoplannet workshop was designed to assisting accommodation suppliers to prepare a WATER CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT PLAN for their facility. Why conserve water? Water conservation can reduce consumption by upwards of 40% to 50% in most lodging facilities. Both the commercial and ethical issues were presented including; 1. COMMERCIAL: Water accounts for 10% of resort utility bills An assessment must consider consider both water purchase and disposal. Water conservation leads to lower in water heating costs, a decrease in the use of chemicals and detergents and wear and tear on equipment. The payback period is typically 1 to 2 years making it an excellent investment. 2. ETHICAL: Resorts, and in particular those on small islands have a responsibility to use only what is absolutely necessary and ensure that island residents are not deprived of essential water needs It is also the Environmentally responsible thing to do as it conserves the island/community water resources. It can enhance the image of the property and will appeal to responsible tourist but can also lead to increased visitor satisfaction from all segments. Conservation reduces operating costs especially if the water comes from an expensive desalination process where it can cost up to $18/m³. Water costs are also increasing faster than even the cost of fuel so conservation measures taken today will have long-term savings.
  • 5. An average guest can use up to 700 litres/ day depending on the size of the resort Where does the water go? Getting Started - Consider future operational improvement opportunities - Walk the facility, talk to employees; Guest Consumption Find out where you are before determining where to go. Water consumption per guest usually depends on the grade and services of the property. At a threestar facility, guests typically consume 300–400 L/day while a five-star resort to could see consumption levels of 500 to 800 L/day. The average for the Caribbean would be approximately 700 L/Guest/day. 1. Understand the purpose for each water use at your facility, - Where and when is water being used? How is it being used and by whom? Why is the water use necessary? 2. Employees are your ears and eyes - they must be part of the process, and - Develop a company water conservation management plan 2. Involve your employees: Your eyes and ears; They use the equipment that uses water Where is your water used? - Excellent source of information on cost effective ways to reduce all utility costs. The guest room is responsible for the major use of water consuming between 40% to 50%. Other areas include: - Provide incentive to identify ways to reduce water use - Empower employees to become part of the solution. F+B and Kitchens: 17% - 20% Public toilets: 16%- 18% Laundry: 19% - 15% Gardens, landscaping: 4% - 6% Pool: 5% Guestrooms Typical water demand distribution in guestrooms without compromising guest comfort: Showers…56% Toilet…….25% Basin……. 09% Cleaning…10% 3. Measure + Monitor: Monitoring water use critical to good control 2. If you don't measure it, you can't manage it. 3 steps to begin a Conservation Program 1. Determine purpose + need for each use - Identify uses that are vital to your operation. - Wa t e r m e t e r s t h a t a r e electronically connected to central information system, - Read the water meter on a regular basis - Plot use on a daily basis and establish use patterns - Use sub meters to manage cost and identify problems in the
  • 6. Workshop Purpose The workshop is structured to enable each participant to complete the session with their individual 5-year water conservation management plan based on a 90 page workbook and manual. Furthermore the workbook enables the participant to return to their property and continue to improve upon their overall plan. Additional information can be included, employees can participate and ongoing monitoring will refine the available information. The workshop is designed to encourage maximum participation and collaboration by all participants. Each individual brings valuable information to the group and there is ample opportunity to share their experiences. Workshops Dynamics 1. A presentation (by the workshop facilitator) of the technical information associated with each phase; 2. Working in small groups the participants complete each phase of the water management plan 3. Each group presents their results of each phases encouraging feedback from the other participants. Water Conservation Management Plan Planning Process The participants are brought through each of the following 7 phases resulting in the final preparation of their individual Company Water Conservation Management Plan Phase I: Prepare an Environmental Policy Statement Phase II: Create an Environmental and Water Management Team and Stakeholder Partnerships Phase III: Prepare an Environmental and Water Audit Phase IV: Identifying Key Environmental and Water Conservation Opportunities and a Repositioning Plan Phase V: Prepare a Water Conservation Management Plan Phase VI: Prepare Management and Staff Training Plan Phase VII: Develop a Water Conservation Communication Plan
  • 7. Workshop Facilitator: James MacGregor James has 37 years experience consulting to the tourism sector including national-state-provincial-municipal governments, private companies, NGO's, indigenous people's organizations and communities. He has been project manager on more than 400 tourism and economic development assignments. He is an internationally recognized sustainable tourism and protected area planner and an expert in ecotourism and sustainable tourism development. Specific knowledge includes: preparation and implementation of sustainable tourism development strategies and policies, community/regional tourism plans, market analysis, business plans/feasibility studies, green management strategies, ecotourism, and adventure travel product development, resort and ecolodge planning/construction, international e-marketing and investment strategies, and sustainable tourism training program design and facilitation. In 1992 he established ecoplan:net ltd., which became Canada’s leading sustainable tourism and ecotourism planning, marketing and training consulting firm. He is cofounder and partner in both ECOadventures Ltd. a leading Canadian ecotourism and adventure travel company and the Lake Matagami Ecolodge in Northern Québec. He has published numerous papers and is a frequent keynote speaker, lecturer and workshop facilitator in the Americas, Asia and Africa. He has delivered more than 270 multi-day workshops to approximately 7000 participants. The Sustainable Tourism/Ecotourism Training Trainer and Green Management Workshop that he designed and delivered to 11 Commonwealth Caribbean Nations for the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Bahamas Ministry of tourism was awarded the prestigious 1997 Green Globe Achievement Award from the World Tourism and Travel Council. The Sustainable Tourism Development Policies he prepared for the Bahamas received the 1996 Green Globe Achievement Award. More recently the Morocco Rural Tourism Quality Assurance Program and the Botswana Green/ecotourism Certification Program were awarded the 2009 and 2010 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards respectively. He recently designed and delivered a Water Conservation Management Workshop in St. Eustatius [Dutch Caribbean] and in September he moderated the Annual Northeast Asia Tourism Forum in Hunchun, China. He was Chief of Party for the USAID/Morocco Rural Sustainable Tourism Development Program and currently operates a sustainable tourism planning and economic development consulting practice in Morocco. For information on this and other workshops please contact: James MacGregor, jmacgregor@ecoplannet.com