Hotels consume a significant amount of water in the U.S. and around the world, adding to their utility bills and their bottom line. Through technology, innovation and partnership efforts, we’re helping hotels to save water and money, too.
We know that America’s young people are extremely creative and great with technology. That’s why each spring we provide the nation with a glimpse of America’s winning future through our P3 student design competition for sustainability. “P3” stands for People, Prosperity and the Planet. Working in teams, students and their academic advisors devise innovative solutions to meet environmental challenges in ways that benefit people, promote prosperity, and protect the planet.
Last year we funded a proposal for students at the University of Tulsa to develop a novel low-cost wireless device for monitoring water use from hotel guest room showers. This device would be designed to fit most new and existing hotel shower fixtures and wirelessly transmit water usage data to a central hotel accounting system. If these monitors were ultimately manufactured and deployed, it would be used by hotels to help them understand their water usage. EPA would not see this data at all, as has been reported by some media outlets.
Is there really a demand for this type of technology? Well, the marketplace will decide. But hotels are showing a lot of interest in finding ways to reduce their water usage. In just one year, more than 800 hotels have signed up to participate in our H2Otel Challenge.
The WaterSense Program, which launched the H2Otel Challenge, is a partnership program that offers all consumers simple ways to use less water using water-efficient products and practices. The Challenge is an effort to encourage hotels to use best management practices that will save water and money, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. By tackling projects throughout their properties, hotels can find ways to improve their water efficiency and performance while providing the highest quality experience for guests.
The hotels that have joined are finding it valuable. For example, Eric Dominguez, Corporate Director of Engineering, Utilities and Environmental Affairs for Caesars Entertainment, says:
“At Caesars Entertainment’s resorts throughout the country, we know that sustaining our local water supply is as important as providing the best entertainment experience we can to our guests. Over the last few years we successfully implemented several water saving projects, such as adding low-flow showerheads and sink aerators at our Las Vegas resorts. We are excited to participate in the WaterSense H2Otel Challenge and to identify where we can make even greater improvement to our operations.”
It’s ultimately up to hotels to use technology like the monitors being developed at the University of Tulsa. We just sow the seeds of creativity.