Local News

Hospitality Industry Comes Together for H2O Conservation

Posted February 13, 2008 7:29 a.m. EST
Updated February 13, 2008 8:25 a.m. EST

— The average hotel used about 21,000 gallons of water per day in 2006, according to estimates by Dennis Edwards with the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.

A hospitality water summit, scheduled for 9 a.m. today, will be geared toward getting hotels and restaurants to conserve. Organizers of the summit say they want everyone to get on the same page.

"What we're trying to do is get some sort of a standardization throughout the hospitality community in terms of what the hotels and restaurant communities should be doing to help conserve water,” Edwards said.

At Raleigh's Marriott Crabtree Valley, housekeepers are no longer changing the sheets and towels everyday. It takes a lot of water to wash all that cloth, so guests were put on notice that water conservation is everyone's responsibility.

“Water is a limited resource. We're all worried about what could happen if we don't all conserve and we don't learn how to deal with this before we actually run out,” said Marriott Area General Manager Edward Book Jr.

The Raleigh City Council voted unanimously last week to move to increased, Stage 2 water restrictions this Friday. The Stage 2 restrictions would have automatically come into effect if Raleigh's water supply dipped to 90 days.

Even though the city system is not at that point, however, the supply in Falls Lake is projected to last only until the summer, and Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker pushed for tighter restrictions sooner.

Edwards estimates the average hotel in 2006 used more than 21,000 gallons of water a day. That translates to about 218 gallons of water for every occupied room, but that was before hotels stopped watering landscapes and began conserving water.

Restaurants are also cutting back. If you want a glass of water with your meal these days, you have to ask for it.