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The Importance of Efficient Water Systems in Luxury Hotels

The Importance of Efficient Water Systems in Luxury Hotels

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to address the problem of waste water in luxury hotels, highlight the importance of on-site water treatment systems, and sustainability practices in the hospitality industry. The findings indicate that wastewater is a crucial resource that should not be discarded, especially in a world that is growing more water-stressed. Wastewater from metropolitan areas is thrown straight into waterways without being cleaned, resulting in pollution and compromising the safety of ecology and individuals. However, research also points to a discovery that wastewater might be recycled for use in other sectors such as agriculture and industrial processes, which all have the habit of requiring enormous volumes of the material. The hotel business is coping with an ever-increasing challenge of water shortage. Ultimately, the paper finds that it is feasible for hoteliers to retain a high quality of service and save money while guaranteeing that their reputations are safeguarded even in a world that is growing increasingly dry. Since, water shortages are becoming increasingly widespread in many places of the world the paper calls for luxury hotels in India and Dubai to come up with solutions to address the escalating fresh water crisis.

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Introduction

Wastewater is simply used water including that from homes, businesses, or industries and contains waste elements such as oils, food scraps, chemicals, soaps, and human waste. Sustainability in the modern world calls for people to be mindful of other generations in the future. One way of doing this is ensuring that waste is well managed to reduce pollution and other negative effects. In the hospitality industry, wastewater is a vital resource that should not be thrown away, particularly in a society that is becoming progressively water-stressed. Oftentimes, wastewater from hotels and restaurants is dumped directly into water bodies without being treated, causing pollution and endangering the safety of ecosystem and humans. Nonetheless, given the correct circumstances, wastewater from hotels and other hospitality establishments could be recycled for use in other areas, all of which have the tendency of using large amounts of the substance. Wastewater treatment plants are required on site to further improve the chances of reusing water for other purposes such as toilet use and for landscape uses. It also ensures that luxury hotels are aware of the need to save water through contributing directly to controlled management. Online wastewater treatment plants are required on site for all luxury hotels because this will play a significant part in fulfilling the ever-growing demand for water and enabling better management through reuse.

Wastewater in Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry is dealing with an ever-increasing problem of water scarcity. It is possible for hoteliers to maintain a high level of service and save money while ensuring that their reputations are protected even in a world that is becoming increasingly dry (Ahn and Pearce, 2013). Water shortages are becoming more commonplace in many parts of the world. For example, Luxury hotels in India and Dubai have had to come up with strategies to fight the increasing fresh water problem. This is not only a requirement for survival, but also a well-thought-out effort to increase sustainability while ensuring that UN development goals are attained. Every player in the hospitality industry must play their role in attaining this goal. The main focus of the topic surrounds the main importance of luxury hotels investing in the right water systems. On-site water treatment systems work best when used with the right filtration systems. Water filtration system is central in ensuring that the resultant water is clean and safe for drinking and use in the hotel (WHO, 2006). The topic will also be addressed through the examination of the various designs that encompass an effective water filtration system. That is from water conditioners, carbon filtration, acid and iron filters, as well the reverse osmosis systems that result in the highest quality of water for use in the hotels (MetroWaterFilter, 2020). These filtration systems form part of the main water systems that ensure there is sustainable water.

Importance of installing On-site water treatment systems in luxurious hotels

The main topic selected here entails the importance of installing on-site water treatment systems, in order to maintain a sustainable water development. Installing this system will enable the filtration and purification of water that come from their main sources as well as waste water CITATION Way12 l 1033 (Wayland & Oppelt, 2012). There are several reasons why installing on-site water treatment is important. One of the reasons is that scale may build up in ice makers, pipework, boilers and fixtures. Hard water scale may be a nightmare in the Hotel and Resort Industry. As water travels past boilers and other fixtures, it has the tendency of leaving behind salts of calcium and magnesium which gradually builds up to a degree where the structures can no longer work effectively. The build-up of hard water in boilers will essentially cause an insulation effect on the heating elements requiring them to perform even harder, to heat water generating a greater energy expenditure and a malfunction of the equipment. On-site water treatment for water in hotels will help in reduction of laundry expenditure. Laundry is a massive cost for the hospitality sector, and it is critical to keep costs under complete control. In this section of the hotel, hard water has turned out to be exceptionally expensive. Chemical additives are required to make the water soft before doing the laundry. This may make the white sheets become gray when exposed to hard water, boiler life is shortened, and laundry machines will acquire hard water scale, necessitating more frequent repairs and replacements than normal. Therefore, on-site treatment has the capacity of reducing these additional expenses.

On-site treatment of water is essential for bathing and customer use. Customers commonly express dissatisfaction with the quality of soaps and conditioners provided by hotels. Often at times, they are completely unaware that it is the hard water that normally causes the problem. As a result of the disparity in water quality across several hotels, the hardness of water will vary. Even a modest degree of hardness will render soaps and conditioners ineffective (Alexander and Kennedy, 2002). Certain hotels will add water softeners in the boilers that supply water to the entire establishment. This ensures the safety of the laundry machines and other restaurant equipment, as well as blending the cold hard water in the rooms with soft hot water from the boiler. This frequently results in the customer having water that is aesthetically pleasant in his or her room. On site treatment of water also ensures that the guests have sufficient drinking water. Generally, point of use filtration systems are installed in strategic locations where tea, smoothies and beverages are served, which is typically in the restaurant parts of a facility. It is common for them to have taste and odor filters, which contain sediment and turbidity filtering, as well as a carbon filter to better the taste and remove organic contaminants.

Water Systems in Luxury Hotels: Why Study the Topic?

According to MetroWaterFilter (2020), restaurants and major luxury hotels need clean water in their daily functions. Clean and safe water for guests is essential, as most will use it for grooming, drinking and even making simple drinks like smoothies or even coffee. Hotels and restaurants need clean water to serve their customers, as well as irrigate the golf course, Through the installation of the right water systems, the provided water is guaranteed to be clean and of high quality for ensuring the cooked food and the drinking water is indeed not affected in case of a case of dirty water (MetroWaterFilter, 2020). In addition, despite these hotels need clean water for their laundry services.

Figure 1: Accommodation consumption

(Source: Dinarès & Pujol, 2015)

Efficient water management methods are important for a variety of reasons, and the tourism sector should be no exception. As a start, tourism is practiced in all countries and regions around the universe, but in varying levels. It is presently the global largest and fastest expanding industry, having demonstrable effects on the economy, socio-cultural landscape, and environment (Torres-Bagur et al., 2019). Global tourism is expected to keep growing, as per the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The tourism industries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East have all seen sustained expansion in recent years. Tourism is expected to continue to grow at a steady rate in the future years, according to predictions. This reliable estimate suggests that more tourism support systems will be required in the future, which will unavoidably put more strain on water usage as well as supply.

Two points should be made in relation to the growth of tourism: apart from Asia and the United States, it has developed in areas that are already suffering from water scarcity. A massive change in water consumption occurs as a result of tourism from water-rich nations like Canada to water-poor regions like Mexico, exerting enormous pressure on existing water-stressed locations. Even Asian tourist sites including Bali, Kerala, and Goa according to a previous study conducted by the Tourism Concern Action for Ethical Tourism (2012), are now experiencing detrimental impacts from tourism on their water accessibility as well as quality to the surrounding community. Bali, for instance, where tourism accounts for 65 percent of total water consumption, is expected to face a serious water issue by 2025 as a result of the island’s increasing population and the island’s tourism expansion. As a result of significant government-assisted development in the number of buildings and renovation of the hotel’s accommodation sector, the consumption of water by the tourism industry is expected to expand more and more from the 12 percent usage recorded in 2009.

When there is an increase in the number of tourist arrivals, there is an increase in tourism facilities like hotels, eateries and villas as well. There may be also an increase other hotel amenities such as golf courses, spas and other water-related recreational spaces such as swimming pools, all of which require water to operate (Sadi & Adebitan, 2014). Golf tourism necessitates the use of vast amounts of water – approximately 2.3 million liters per day for an 18-hole golf course. It is possible that meeting increased industry demand will have severe consequences for well-being of the local inhabitants (Akpan, Omole, & Bassey, 2020). Clearly, this is true in the case of Bali in Indonesia as well as Naxos in Greece. Controversy has erupted in both situations due to competition for the same water resources between tourism infrastructure and agriculture. If the situation continues, it may lead to the loss of jobs and economic deterioration.

Third, there is no more any assurance that water will be readily available in the near future. Although Asia has significant rainfall patterns, availability of water is a concern during the dry period caused by a lack of capacity to retain rainwater properly, as well as an absence of appropriate effort to combat contamination of surface groundwater sources and the behaviors of individuals who waste water (Zouboulis & Katsoyiannis, 2019). In Malaysia, for instance, medium or extremely contaminated rivers account for 33% of the nation’s total river pollution. Consistent water interruptions or rationing in times of water scarcity can have a negative impact on tourism enterprises over the long run. Finally, increasing visitor numbers necessitate a more proactive strategy to water challenges, which can be accomplished via water management. Evidently, mitigation efforts by major tourist stakeholders are required immediately in order to avoid future crises.

Figure 2: Water disparity

(Source: Becken, 2014)

According to the literature, visitors consume far more water than natives, and there have been concerns expressed regarding equality in this regard. On the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, for example, researchers discovered that visitors consume around 15 times as much water each night as a native person on average (Becken, 2014). When it comes to Barbados, the figure was around three times higher than the local residents and it is estimated that it might be as high as ten times higher. The findings of this study confirm that there are significant differences in water consumption between visitors staying in hotels and the local population, with differences ranging from three to eight times greater than between the two groups. Although the findings indicate that inequity is concentrated in developing nations, they also indicate that it is absent in high-income nations. In contrast, it indicates that the water consumption of tourists in industrialized nations is less than that of the native people in those countries. It becomes significant in this context as “municipal water usage per capita” encompasses a broader range of activities than only home water consumption. Thus, it is reinforced that the disparity in underdeveloped nations is likely to be considerably higher than that shown by this study, which is not surprising given the findings of the study.

Figure 3: Litres per person per day

(Source: Becken, 2014)

Sustainable Practices: The Role of Effective Water Systems in the Hospitality Sector

In the hospitality industry, foundational course tenets such as solid waste management, facilities management, environmental management, and sustainable energy, mainly clean and affordable energy are the new issues that every organization must face. In relation to solid waste management, facilities management professionals are increasingly confronted with difficulties in recent years as a result of the everyday trash generated by the facilities’ customers (Charara et al., 2011). Facilities have an effect on every aspect of human life all around the universe – from work to leisure to housing – and they supply the vital infrastructure, yet few people are aware exactly how they are constructed and maintained.

The number of facility operators in the hotel and tourism sectors is typically very large, and their operations generate a significant volume of solid waste as a result of their operations. As long as garbage production as well as other waste creation activities persist in that built environment, it will be impossible to completely eradicate waste from that ecosystem (Lagestee, 2014). In order to minimize the risk to human comfort and health, as well as to lessen the adverse effect on the environment, it should be controlled in an effective and efficient manner. Solid waste management is related to facility management in all aspects as aforementioned.

Water and waste-water treatment often absorb a considerable portion of a country’s total energy supply, with associated effects on carbon emissions and global warming. Energy is typically a significant portion of the running costs of water utility providers. In certain dry regions, waste water management may be the most energy-intensive industrial sector, according to some estimates. Even though the utilization of sustainable energy to water treatment operations is an enticing substitute to fossil fuels, challenges to the widespread adoption of renewable energy sources like wind and solar still persist (Song, Jai, and Li, 2020). It is becoming increasingly important to enhance the energy efficiency of water treatment and the entire performance of water-energy systems in order to fulfill the world’s expanding water demands.

Using Technology to Save Water in Luxury Hotels

Reuse and recycling are two options for dealing with a water shortage. However, the risks of fouling, corrosion, and biological contamination increases with each cycle of water through the pipes. By continuously ensuring systems are monitored and adjusted to the right water quality in real time, smart technologies and interconnected water meters will help in alleviating this difficulty. In fact, luxury hotels all over the world are already dealing with water problems including scarcity issues that are likely to push further in to the future. However, because conserving water equates to cost saving, this can serve as motivation for better general sustainability management (Torres-Bagur et al., 2019). Even though water is currently low-priced in many cities, this is unlikely to continue. The cost of energy is, at the moment, already quite high. Efforts to minimize the environmental footprint through practices that aim to cut on greenhouse gas emissions require less use of water, a process that requires a lot of energy. Activities such as pumping, heating, cooling, and treating will take up a significant amount of energy costs for luxury hotels.

However, it is not the only factor that contributes to an establishment’s reputation. Avoid causing friction with the local community by catering to the water needs of tourists at the expense of local needs if one operates in an area that is already water-constrained. This can have far-reaching effects on a company’s reputation, even if the incident takes place in a specific area. It is possible for hotels to use less water and energy while still providing the best possible service to their customers by implementing modern water management strategies (Wayland and Oppelt, 2012). As the world’s population grows and the number of people who travel more frequently increases, it will become increasingly important to have this capability in order to succeed in the future.

Counterargument

Every project, not excluding all of the country’s water resource as well as other infrastructure investments, is geared toward earning revenue through different means. Investing in wastewater treatment projects, for example, might boost agricultural economic growth by increasing employment opportunities and lowering dependency on public expenditures. However, the downsides of such projects include the need for large initial investments, the need to ensure sufficient maintenance and operation costs for treatment facilities, transportation and collection, and so forth.

Conclusion

The importance of installing on-site water treatment systems, in order to maintain a sustainable water development structure in luxury hotels cannot be stressed enough. The discussion identifies that restaurants and major luxury hotels need clean water in their daily functions. Similarly, clean and safe water for guests is essential, as most will use it for grooming, drinking and even making simple drinks like smoothies or even coffee. However, water remains a very scarce commodity. The discussion acknowledges this problem and recommends the use of smart technologies to monitor and key activities such as pumping, heating, cooling, and treating to reduce wastes. Reuse and recycling are two options for dealing with a water shortage combined with the said monitoring systems. The same technologies will be used by luxury hotels to reduce conflict with surrounding communities regarding water.

References

Akpan, V. E., Omole, D. O., & Bassey, D. E. (2020). Assessing the public perceptions of treated

wastewater reuse: opportunities and implications for urban communities in developing countries. Heliyon, 6(10), e05246. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e05246

Ahn, Y. H., & Pearce, A. R. 2013. Green luxury: a case study of two green hotels. Journal of

Green Building, 8(1), 90-119.

Alexander, S., & Kennedy, C. 2002. Green hotels: Opportunities and resources for success.

https://www.academia.edu/download/32155059/GREEN_HO.PDF

Becken, S. (2014). Water equity–Contrasting tourism water use with that of the local

community. Water resources and industry, 7, 9-22. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wri.2014.09.002

Charara, N., Cashman, A., Bonnell, R., & Gehr, R. 2011. Water use efficiency in the hotel sector

of Barbados. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 19(2), 231-245.

Dinarès, M., & i Pujol, D. S. (2015). Water consumption patterns of hotels and their response to

droughts and public concerns regarding water conservation: The case of the Barcelona hotel industry during the 2007-2008 episode. Documents d’anàlisi geogràfica, 61(3), 623-649.

Edokpayi, J. N., Odiyo, J. O., & Durowoju, O. S. (2017). Impact of wastewater on surface water

quality in developing countries: a case study of South Africa. Water quality, 401-416. http://dx.doi.org/10.5772/66561

Lagestee, M. 2014. An analysis of the state of sustainability in Indiana’s luxury hotels.

http://cardinalscholar.bsu.edu/bitstream/handle/123456789/199339/L34_2014LagesteeMichael.pdf?sequence=1

MetroWaterFilter, 2020. Hotel and Restaurant Water Filtration. [Online] Available at:

https://metrowaterfilter.com/commercial-services/hotel-and-restaurant-water-filtration/ [Accessed 11 November 2021].

Sadi, I. A., & Adebitan, E. O. (2014). Waste water recycling in the hospitality industry.

Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 3(7), 87-87. Doi:10.5901/ajis.2014.v3n7p87

Song, J., Jai, T. M., & Li, X. 2020. Examining green reviews on TripAdvisor: Comparison

between resort/luxury hotels and business/economy hotels. International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration, 21(2), 165-187.

Torres-Bagur, M., Ribas, A., & Vila-Subirós, J. 2019. Incentives and barriers to water-saving

measures in hotels in the Mediterranean: A case study of the Muga river basin (Girona, Spain). Sustainability, 11(13), 3583.

Wayland, R. H. & Oppelt, T. E., 2012. USEPA Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual,

Washington DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

WHO, 2006. Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality, Switzerland: WHO Press.

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