Our offices are located in Cape Town, huddled up against the mountains in the quirky suburb of Tokai, only a few minutes from Muizenberg’s Surfer’s Corner on False Bay, and the well travelled and much loved by locals and tourists alike – Kalk Bay route. We have all been striving to save water in our individual homes for the last year, during the Cape’s most devastating drought in decades. Our beautiful, seaside metropolis, which has been voted time and time again as one of the world’s top destinations is in a water crisis, and Day Zero is only 3 months away. Day Zero has become the term for the day the city actually runs out of water.
Most city dwellers have come together and united in this time of uncertainty, and information is circulating with advice on how to run a water-saving household. The current limitations are urging residents to use no more than 50 litres per household per day (starting 1 February), and many people have implemented innovative water-saving techniques to their daily chores and necessities. It is a time of necessity now, as Day Zero comes hurtling towards us.
Being in the tourism industry and having relationships with hospitality groups, hotels, and services, we are concerned about how our partners in tourism are dealing with the tight restrictions and managing to cater for Cape Town’s constant influx of visitors who are not likely to know the urgency to save water while on holiday. We’ve contacted a few of our popular Cape Town hotels to find out how they are managing this crisis and providing a comfortable and relaxing experience for our valued guests. Here are 7 luxury hotels in Cape Town helping to save water during Cape Town’s severe drought:
- Bath plugs have been removed from the bathtubs to discourage taking baths with an appealing note to guests explaining why the measures have been taken.
- The showers have been kitted out with stopwatches to help guests time their showers and keep them to the advised 2-minute limit.
- Hotel plumbing has been replaced with grey water.
- Borehole water is being used for the swimming pool and gardens.
- Innovative and economical wastewater treatment plant, which treats water from the hotels, restaurants, winery and food packaging facilities, and uses the treated water for irrigation throughout the property.
- A pool-water-harvesting system is in the works, and until it is ready the property’s 7 pools remain closed.
- Consistently working on their innovative sustainability model which covers all areas of environmental conservation.
- Investing in water-from-air machines to generate potable water and reduce the drinkable water from purifying machines.
The Westin Cape Town
- The hotel currently saves around one million litres of water a month.
- Removed all bath plugs from bathrooms to discourage guests from taking a bath.
- Water-free Ecolab hand sanitisers have been made available in public restrooms.
- Reduced water pressure means less water coming out of the taps.
- Awareness and information about the water saving implementations is posted in all rooms, public restroom, lifts, as well as in the hotel lobby.
- The swimming pool has been filled with non-potable water, so as to save enormous amounts of potential drinking water.
- Grey water systems are in place to manage the gardens and toilet flushing.
- Synthetic grass has replaced natural grass.
- Bath plugs have been removed from rooms to discourage guests from taking a bath.
- Alternative water supply is being shipped in from other provinces that have surplus water.
- Urging all guests to help make a difference and to #savelikealocal with the provision of friendly guidelines for saving Cape Town’s water while on holiday.
- Stock piling bottled water, which will then be donated back to the local community and staff, should the city’s supply of water run out.
- Collecting grey water from the rooms which are used for flushing toilets and watering the garden.
- Experimenting with water saving devices in kitchens including flow resrictors on taps.
- Half of the garden’s flowering plants have been replaced with succulents and other water-wise plants.
- A drip system has replaced the irrigation, which reduces water consumption by 60%.
- The pool recycles backwashed water into the pool after being treated.
- Offers tips for guests to read on how to save water while enjoying a luxury holiday in the Cape.
Southern Sun Hotels: The Cullinan Hotel, Cape Sun, Waterfront
- All bath plugs have been removed from rooms to discourage taking baths.
- Pressure has been reduced in showers and taps to lessen the amount of water wastage.
- Showers have instant hot water, thereby lessening the litres of water loss while waiting for water to heat.
- Sheets and towels are only changed upon request.
- There are no more tablecloths or linen serviettes being used in the restaurants in order to reduce the pressure on laundry.
- Swimming pools are filled with borehole water.
- Comprehensive monitoring system called Station Seven that monitors water usage by the hour – alerting managers to problem areas and allowing for a quick fix.
- Achieved the double Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certification for saving 65% of its water on an ongoing basis.
- Grey water recycling system in place.
- Signage throughout the hotel informing guests of the water crisis and offering advice and support for playing a part.
- Half-flush buttons on all toilets.
- Launched the #WaterwiseTourismCT campaign, calling on all industry role players to join the Twitter discussion, which focussed specifically on how the water crisis has impacted tourism in the province.
10 Tips to #savelikealocal from Love Cape Town:
- Choose to stay in accommodation that has water-saving measures in place. Ask about this when you book.
- Re-use your towels instead of asking for a new one daily.
- Try to flush the toilet as little as possible. Each flush uses between 6 and 14 litres, depending on the kind of toilet.
- Use a cup to rinse your mouth when you brush your teeth rather than letting the taps run.
- Limit your showers to 2 minutes, and avoid bathing. Download these 2 Minute Shower Songs by local bands to make keeping track of shower time fun!
- Report leaking taps and toilets as soon as you notice them.
- Avoid washing clothes until you have a full load’s worth of laundry.
- Take a dip in the ocean instead of swimming pools, and maybe even spare yourself a shower.
- If possible, use a dishwasher to clean dishes. just make sure you only run it when it is full.
- Use this nifty calculator to make sure you’re helping to save water.