Reducing Water Consumption in Hotels

hotel lobby, green hotel

Measuring the amount of water a hotel property uses can be a bit daunting. 

An office building, for instance, typically uses about the same amount of water each month throughout the year.  Yes, there may be spikes in the summer months when more water is being used for landscaping and air-conditioning. But this is often offset during the colder months when less water is consumed.  As a result, the spikes and the offsets tend to balance each other out, making it the average amount of water the facility uses generally consistent throughout the year.

However, with a hotel property, water amounts can vary significantly from month to month, even day to day.  Occupancy and baseload demand may unexpectedly go up – for instance, if there is a conference at the property – as well as suddenly go down, for example, if the economy takes a significant dip. 


Additionally, back-of-the-house operations may change, requiring more or less water to be used, often for just a set period of time; climate conditions can vary; and even the types of guests in the hotel can impact water consumption.  A conference catering to green sustainability experts likely will use less water than a meeting attended by scores of hyperactive salespeople.

This is why hotel properties that are serious about reducing water consumption and saving money must begin monitoring their water consumption.  Many larger properties are already doing this, but unfortunately, many smaller properties are not.  The result is these smaller properties are often paying dearly for water and may not even realize it.

Different types of water monitoring systems are available, and prices can vary significantly.  Due diligence can help hotel property owners and managers select the best system to meet their specific needs.  Once installed, three tasks are essential:

•    All water monitoring systems must be checked every day.

•    Each day, calculate the property's daily water consumption.  Most water monitoring systems will automatically provide and store this data.

•    Use the end-of-month readings to calculate key values: the property's monthly water consumption on a per guest basis; monthly totals used in common areas; usage in restaurants and bars; consumption for landscaping, building operations, and in many other operational areas.

Here is what this information tells us. Suppose the property is using about 5,000 gallons of water each day, but this suddenly spikes to 6,000 gallons.  If there have been no other changes in hotel operations, this is a very good indication there is a water leak.

While we already pointed out it can be difficult to determine "average amounts" of water consumption for a hotel property, at least on an annual basis, we can determine average amounts for specific periods such as when an event happing at the hotel.

Let's assume 100 people attended a three-day conference at the hotel in February.  It was determined that the property used 7,500 gallons of water per day during that event, 2,500 gallons per day more than usual, or a 50 percent increase.  In April, another 3-day conference is planned, also with about 100 people attending.  Now the property has an idea of how much more water will be consumed during that period. If they have found ways to reduce water consumption during events such as this, they can now determine how well their efforts are paying off.

hotel restroom, waterless urinals in hotel

Finally, suppose waterless urinals were installed in all hotel public restrooms during the second quarter of the year.  Our water monitoring system provides us with information about how much water is being consumed in all common areas of the property.  By comparing water consumption in the first quarter of the year with the second quarter, we can see how much water consumption has been reduced with the installation of the no-water urinals, as well as the likely return on the investment of installing them.

For more information on ways to reduce water consumption and use water more efficiently, contact a Waterless company representative.