NEW YORK—Eleven members of the Hotel Association of New York City (HANYC) have partnered with the Department of Environmental Protection and NYC & Company to take the “New York City Hotel Water Conservation Challenge,” aiming to reduce each hotel’s water consumption by 5% and save a total of approximately 13 million gallons of water each year.
The participating hotels include: The Waldorf-Astoria, The Ritz-Carlton Central Park, The InterContinental Times Square, The InterContinental Barclay New York, The Millennium Broadway, Tryp NYC, Sheraton TriBeca, The New Yorker, Grand Hyatt New York, Holiday Inn Express and The Carlton.
“We are pleased that a number of our member hotels are participating in the worthwhile effort to conserve water, and we encourage all of our members to consider signing on to this important initiative,” stated Joseph E. Spinnato, HANYC’s CEO.
Participating hotels are equipped with water meters and automated meter-reading (AMR) devices that track water consumption in near real time. The hotels will use 12 months’ of water consumption data to establish a baseline profile and track progress in reducing water consumption; the City will develop a tool kit of resources to help the hotels meet their targets efficiently. Water-reduction strategies may include housekeeping techniques, such as finding and repairing leaks quickly, and developing literature that encourages hotel visitors to practice water-conserving behavior. Physical upgrades also will be explored, such as the replacement of inefficient plumbing fixtures and the adoption of new technologies that use water minimally or reuse it to the extent possible.
“As New York City’s population continues to grow and we attract record numbers of tourists each year we are planning for the long-term sustainability of our water supply,” said DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland in a statement. “In the relatively near term the Delaware Aqueduct, which carries more than half the city’s daily water needs from our upstate reservoirs, will be temporarily shut down for necessary repairs and in the long term we want to reduce the amount of energy required to treat our water.”
Reductions in water consumption may also help the hotels realize financial savings. The 11 participating hotels consumed between 50,000 and 320,000 gallons of water each day during the last 12 months, and if they meet the 5% reduction goal, each hotel has the potential to realize savings of between $10,000 and $70,000 on its annual water and sewer bills based on current rates.
George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company, added: “New York City’s tourism industry has experienced unprecedented growth, welcoming more visitors and building more hotels than ever before. It is imperative that the sector continues to adopt new environmentally friendly initiatives like the City’s water conservation program.”
He noted the city expects to welcome some 55 million visitors by 2015.
Also on hand at the event were: The Carlton’s Dia Noor Qirreh; NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-term Planning and Sustainability Deputy Dir. Steven Caputo Jr; The Waldorf-Astoria’ Dir./Property Ops Maher Hanna; The Ritz-Carlton NY, Central Park’s Dir./Engineering Vasos Michael; and InterContinental Barclay’s Dir./Engineering Michael Akakpo.
The water-conservation challenge is one part of New York City’s Water for the Future program, the central part of which is repairing the Delaware Aqueduct, which supplies roughly half of the city’s daily drinking water needs.