Cape Town hotel makes giant strides with water smart efforts
As the City of Cape Town’s water officials work tirelessly to avoid Day Zero; the Westin Cape Town, a hotel on the Cape Town International Convention Centre precinct is 100 percent committed to the cause; currently the hotel saves around one million litres of water a month.
Westin Cape Town’s general manager, Leon Meyer says his establishment has joined calls by key industry role-players, including the City of Cape Town and the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (FEDHASA) Cape region to save as much water as possible. And while the one million a month reduction, when compared to the same period last year is a step in the right direction, there’s more work to be done.
‘We’re working hard to reduce our water consumption in the medium to long-term, by implementing innovative, sustainable water-saving techniques. But, we need to be robust to help make a significant impact on the province’s overall water supply,’ he says.
The Mother City’s water crisis has reached dire straits. The city finds itself in phase one of the Critical Water Shortages Disaster Plan and level five water restrictions are officially in place. To prepare for the day the taps run dry, Cape Town mayor, Patricia de Lille asked that when the time comes the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) be on standby at collection points to ensure residents’ safety. Day Zero has moved from March 2018 – the city’s water-saving efforts have pushed that date back to May 2018.
‘As both a hotelier and a resident of this beautiful city, saving water is an imperative. Water is a much-needed resource and without it we can do very little. Therefore, we need to enforce every effort to conserve water,’ Meyer says.
To-date he says the Westin Cape Town has removed all bath plugs from bathrooms to discourage guests from taking a bath; purchased and implemented water-free Ecolab hand sanitisers in public restrooms and reduced water pressure and implemented air-raters in public restrooms’ taps. Notices informing guests about the drought have been placed in all rooms, public restroom, lifts, as well as in the hotel lobby. In addition, the swimming pool has been filled with 100 percent non-potable water.
‘Day Zero is not an option. And it’s all hands on deck in our establishment to do our bit. Little by little we can make a difference, and prevent this crisis from extending further,’ Meyer says.