CAPE TOWN, August 30 – With insufficient rainfall and fast declining dam levels The Peninsula All-Suite Hotel steps up to the challenge to lower water consumption in Cape Town.
In August 2016, the hotel installed holding tanks on its roof, which captures ground water facilitated by a unique rooftop pumping system that uses the water for sanitation purposes. With the hospitality and tourism industries at the top of the list of water consumers in South Africa, it was about time that a water saving initiative was implemented and in the year that the system has been operational it has saved 1 473 000 litres of water and 13% of their annual water bill.
“At The Peninsula, groundwater is channelled from rainwater and surrounding mountains, into underground streams beneath the hotel’s parking area. We have taken advantage of this unique positioning by creating borehole pumps that suck the water into a holding tank, which is then pumped to the 1500 litre tanks on the roof,” explains Chris Godenir, General Manager at The Peninsula All-Suite Hotel.
“Our objective is to always minimize any impact we may have on the environment and even though the initial installation of the groundwater tanks was an expensive undertaking, the saving on the water bill has been a welcomed return on the investment.”
On July 1st, 2017 the City of Cape Town implemented Level 4B water restrictions and emphasised the need to save water while it’s still possible. The city urged its residents to keep to a maximum of 87 litres of water per person, per day, keeping in mind that the average showerhead expels 15 litres of water per minute, making a 6-minute shower equivalent to 90 litres of water.
The Peninsula supports the city’s plea and has implemented creative ways to save water, for example fitting taps with aerators and restrictions to reduce the flow to no more than six litres per minute, as per the City’s by-laws. In addition, the hotel has also put the challenge to its staff and guests.
A welcoming letter with water-saving notes and message boards in the elevators, foyer, and in all rooms that encourages guest and staff awareness around the Level 4B water restrictions and inspire guests to do their part. In addition, a water consumption report is published daily where guests who meet water restrictions are acknowledged and congratulated. More water saving protocols are in the pipeline, set to be announced later this year.
“We thank all of our excellent water ambassadors out there. We encourage you to think of more creative ways to reduce your usage even further,” said City’s Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille. “We will be clamping down on unjustifiably high water use,” added de Lille.
The City’s water saving tips are included in the hotel’s daily operations and include:
• Waiting for a full load before running washing machines and dishwashers and using rinse water from some washing machines for the next wash cycle
• The hotel has upgraded to multi-flush toilets and have put a water displacement items in the cistern which halves the water use per flush.
• The hotel regularly checks for leaks, which are fixed immediately.
“At The Peninsula, we are passionate about caring for the environment and through this initiative, we invite all hospitality partners and guests to take action and do their part in preserving our precious resource,” adds Chris Godenir.