Water conservation management planning workshop


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Fresh and fossil water is a rapidly diminishing resource worldwide. The accommodation sector is extremely vulnerable yet capable of reducing its consumption up to 50% while saving money, reducing chemicals and energy consumption. The ecoplan:net Water Conservation Planning Workshop provides a workbook/manual for participants to prepare your individual corporate water management plan including audit preparation and monitoring.

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Water conservation management planning workshop

  1. 1. Water Conservation Management Workshop Preparing a Water Conservation Management Plan for your accommodation facility
  2. 2. St. Eustatius Water Conservation Management Planning Workshop Water Conservation Through Corporate Planning A Water Conservation Management Workshop was delivered by James MacGregor during the Statia Sustainability Conference, on World Tourism Day, September 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 and fossil 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 water management strategy which they could implement immediately upon return to their property
  3. 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 will undoubtedly continue to increase its demand for freshwater. Tourism trips are increasing and 1.6 billion international travellers as well as possibly another 7 billion domestic travellers are projected by 2020. Also the demand for luxury tourism products, new water-based activities and higher quality food services 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. Unfortunately as populations expand the increasing consumer demands suggest we will need 3.5 planets to maintain our lifestyle by 2050 when the population peaks 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 many region falls into this vulnerable category.
  4. 4. Water Conservation in the Lodging Sector Faced with the challenges of conserving water many destinations, such as the Dutch Caribbean, are sponsoring Water Conservation Management Planning Workshops for accommodation suppliers and other tourism stakeholders. The first workshop was conducted during the annual Statia Sustainability Conference which coincided with the UNWTO 2013 campaign which focused on water conservation. The ecoplannet workshop and workbook was specifically designed to assist a c c o m m o d a t i o n s u p p l i e r s t o p r e p a r e a W AT E R 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 Conservation reduces operating costs. An assessment considers both water purchase and disposal. Water conservation leads to lower 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. Conservation practices can enhance the facilities image and appeals to the responsible tourists and ecotourist. It can also lead to increased visitor satisfaction from all segments. Conservation reduces costs especially if the water comes from an expensive desalination process
  5. 5. An average guest can use up to 700 litres/ day depending on the size of the resort Where does the water go? Guest Consumption 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. Getting Started “Find out where you are before determining where to go”. 1. Understand the purpose for each water use at your facility, 2. Employees are your ears and eyes - they must be part of the process, and 2. If you don't measure it, you can't manage it. 2. Involve your employees: Your eyes and ears; They use the equipment that uses water - E m p owe r e m p l oye e s t o become part of the solution. Other areas include: Water demand in guest rooms (without compromising guest comfort) is as follows: Showers…55% Toilet…….25% Basin……. 10% Cleaning…10% - Develop a company water conservation management plan - Provide incentive to identify ways to reduce water use The guest room is responsible for the major use of water and consumes 40% to 50%. Guestrooms - Where and when is water being used? How is it being used and by whom? Why is the water use necessary? - They are an excellent source of information on cost effective ways to reduce utility costs. Where is your water used? F+B and Kitchens: 17% - 20% Public toilets: 16%- 18% Laundry: 19% - 15% Gardens, landscaping: 4% - 6% Pool: 5% - Walk the facility, talk to employees; 3. Measure + Monitor: Monitoring water use is critical to good control and conservation 3 steps to begin a Conservation Program - Install water meters that are electronically connected to central information system, 1. Determine purpose + need for each use - Read the water meter on a regular basis - Identify uses that are vital to your operation. - Plot water use on a daily basis and establish use patterns - Consider future operational improvement opportunities - Use sub meters to manage cost and identify problems in the various systems and departments.
  6. 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 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 Planning Process Guided by the workbook and manual participants are guided through a comprehensive 7 phases resulting in the final preparation of their individual Company Water Conservation Management Plan. The phases include: 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: Identify Key Environmental and Water Conservation Opportunities and a Repositioning Plan Phase V: Prepare a Water Conservation Management and Monitoring Action Plan Phase VI: Prepare Management and Staff Training Plan Phase VII: Develop a Water Conservation Communication Plan
  7. 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. an established 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 in 14 countries. The Sustainable Tourism/Ecotourism Training Trainer and Green Management Workshop Series 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 Standards and Program were awarded the coveted 2009 and 2010 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards respectively. He recently completed the design of the Southern Africa Harmonized Accommodation Program and Standards and the Lesotho Accommodation Star Grading Program (QualStar), for the World Bank.. In September he moderated the 2013 Annual Northeast Asia Tourism Forum in Hunchun, China. He was Chief of Party for the USAID/Morocco Rural Sustainable Tourism Development Program and the Morocco/MCC Handcraft Marketing Strategy. James operates a sustainable tourism planning and economic development consulting practice in Morocco and Romania. For information on this and other workshops please contact: James MacGregor, jmacgregor@ecoplannet.com