NEW YORK—Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Carter Strickland, CEO of NYC & Company George Fertitta, and CEO of the Hotel Association of New York City Joseph E. Spinnato announced that eleven of the city’s hotels have joined the New York City Hotel Water Conservation Challenge. As part of the challenge, each hotel will reduce their annual water consumption by 5 percent and thereby save a total of approximately 13 million gallons of water each year. Commercial buildings in New York City, and hotels in particular, represent a significant opportunity for water and financial savings because they contain a large number of bathroom and kitchen fixtures and have not been targeted in past conservation efforts, such as the toilet replacement program that focused on residential buildings. The hotels participating in the challenge 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, New Yorker Hotel, Grand Hyatt New York, Holiday Inn Express, and the Carlton Hotel.
“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 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. I applaud the Hotel Association for joining this important effort to reduce demand for water.”
“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,” said Spinnato.
Participating hotels are equipped with water meters and Automated Meter Reading (AMR) devices, which track water consumption in near real time. The hotels will use 12 months of water consumption data to establish a baseline profile and track their progress in reducing water consumption and the City will develop a toolkit of resources to help the hotels meet their targets efficiently. Water reduction strategies may include good housekeeping techniques, such as finding and repairing leaks quickly, and developing literature that encourages hotel visitors to practice water conserving behavior. Physical upgrades will also 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.
Reductions in water consumption can also help the hotels realize financial savings. The eleven 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 percent reduction goal, each hotel has the potential to realize savings of between $10,000 and $70,000 on their annual water and sewer bills based on current rates.
The water conservation challenge is one part of New York City’s Water for the Future Program that will help to ensure clean, reliable, and safe drinking water for nine million New Yorkers for decades to come.