This is how tourism committed to water has changed in the Valencian Community

Tourism today faces great challenges.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
21 April 2024 Sunday 11:09
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This is how tourism committed to water has changed in the Valencian Community

Tourism today faces great challenges. Climate change has caused a decrease in rainfall in the Mediterranean basin, which has resulted in a worrying drought. A situation that poses a threat to the tourism sector, one of the engines of our economy.

More than seeking to survive the water crisis, the hotels in the Valencian Community have decided to take an active role in their sustainable management, becoming aware of the fragility of water resources. A commitment that arises from environmental responsibility, but that wants to ensure the continuity of tourist activity, which brings so much prosperity to the territory.

Thus, in 2021, Valencia became the first city in the world to calculate the water footprint left by tourism, showing the impact of human action, calculating the consumption and pollution of fresh water from transportation, accommodation to what is consumed. in restaurants and entertainment venues.

Another paradigmatic case is that of the city of Benidorm, one of the flagships of tourism in the Valencian Community. In 1978, the Costa Blanca went through a serious drought that caused a major water supply crisis. The case of Benidorm was especially dramatic, since it had to provide water by boat. This motivated a change in the management of water resources and led to the awakening of awareness about the need not to waste a resource that is as scarce as it is essential.

Since then, the joint work of the administrations and the tourism sector has developed a model change in water management, which has led Benidorm to achieve a water efficiency of over 95% and to be named the third most efficient city in the world in terms of water efficiency. water use according to the ILI (Infrastructure Leakage Index). Behind this achievement is, in addition to the reuse of regenerated water, the use of technology for preventive maintenance of pipelines.

Today, 36 years after that drought, and although Benidorm has seen its population increase by 40% and hotel overnight stays by 26%, the city has managed to reduce its water consumption by 18%. Only in the last 4 years, water consumption per overnight stay has decreased by around 8%, according to the Report on the use and sustainable consumption of water in the hotel and accommodation sector in the Valencian Community.

These numbers reveal the determination of the hotel sector to confront the water crisis with tangible actions. But what do these actions consist of? Firstly, in measurement: in periodically monitoring water consumption to know in detail how it is used in the different areas of the establishment; secondly, in an investment in efficient infrastructure: in flow reducers that do not affect the water pressure, in efficient shower heads or in taps with a timer; and thirdly in education and awareness, both of guests and employees.

Hotel swimming pools also represent a key point of water consumption, although it should be noted that only 2.18% of the country's total swimming pools belong to tourist accommodation. Include automated chemical dosing systems and pH controllers, optimize pool pumps, opt for low environmental impact disinfection alternatives, such as those based on salt, which require less water and chemicals to maintain water quality, or use cleaning robots. Cleaning to extend the water change are some of the measures that will help reduce consumption.

In conclusion, the Valencian hotel sector is not only adapting to the water crisis, but also wants to lead the strategy towards a sustainable future in the tourism field, demonstrating that environmental responsibility can go hand in hand with business success and prosperity. And it encourages visitors to be part of this initiative, to become fundamental pieces in helping to make the Valencian Community one of the most sustainable destinations.