With Day Zero less than three months away, the city of Cape Town is preparing for the day the taps run dry – and the weeks that follow.
Effective from 1 February, Capetonians will be restricted to 50 litres per person, per day, for at least 150 days, as level 6B water restrictions are implemented. On 12 April or Day Zero, residents will have to collect water from approximately 200 sites across Cape Town where they’ll receive 25 litres of water per person.
Hospitality players, now, more than ever, need to increase their initiatives and contribute every effort in implementing effective water-saving initiatives, as well as continue educating both local and foreign guests.
Continuing its commitment to preserve the remaining water with the intention of delaying Day Zero is Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the world’s largest and most dynamic hotel groups. Each of its six hotels in the region has been actively embarking on operational changes and continuously implementing new initiatives to save as much water as possible since the commencement of the water crisis. It is also taking every opportunity to educate and encourage guests to save water too.
“It is vital that both local and international guests in the city are made aware of our current extreme water crisis and strictly adhere to the regulations that have been put in place to save water. The great news is that to date, our guests have been very accommodating, understanding and supportive,” said William McIntyre, Regional Director of Southern Africa for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. “In line with these regulations, our hotels are continuously implementing various water-saving measures to ensure that both staff and guests adhere to the prescribed water restrictions.
“Education has always been a key component of our water saving campaigns. Guests are informed of the water crisis at all touchpoints, including upon arrival, with signage in the hotel lifts and rooms as a constant reminder. Additional communication is presented by TV displays in the hotels illustrating the importance of the hotel group’s goals, such as “Think Planet, Think Community and Think People”, with a strong focus on awareness and demanding support to save water.”
The six Carlson Rezidor hotels in the region have removed the large flush option from the dual flush systems and the automatic flush from their urinals, removed all the bath plugs and have installed aerators to reduce water flow from all taps. To restrict water usage in the bathrooms and public areas, the hotels provide hand sanitisers. To reduce the amount of laundry, guests are encouraged to reuse their towels as part of the ongoing Just A Drop initiative, which assists in providing children around the world access to safe drinking water. In addition, the linen is changed every three days or upon request.
Below is a deeper look at the additional initiatives implemented by each of the six Carlson Rezidor hotels in Cape Town:
Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Foreshore
“Our team has reworked our down pipes to ensure all rain water collected on the roof, flows straight into the pool and not down the drain,” said Jim Schleich, GM of Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Foreshore. “Our housekeepers also collect the “last rinse water” from our washing machines, which is used to top up the pool, water the remaining plants as well as clean the floors. Our plants at the entrance of our hotel have also been replaced with artificial alternatives.”
Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Newlands and Radisson Blu Le Vendome Hotel
“We are selling bottled water at cost price to our guests as we need to have each other’s best interests at heart, especially during this time of crisis,” said Clinton Thom, GM of Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Newlands and Radisson Blu Le Vendome Hotel. “We’ve also placed a strong emphasis on recycling used water, for example by providing guests with buckets to catch their shower water and the installation of a tank to catch the bathroom basin water which will be reused in the garden, etc. We have also applied to the City of Cape Town to tap into the Newlands Spring Water for hotel usage once we reach Day Zero.”
Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town
“Since the commencement of the water crisis, we have showcased in the hotel lobby, a prominent display, using bottles of mineral water to illustrate how much water can be saved by adhering to the quick shower instead of bath,” said Debra Sivertsen, GM of Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town. “We have also successfully implemented numerous initiatives to align ourselves with the City of Cape Town’s water saving strategy, ensuring that guests are not unduly affected by the City of Cape Town’s water rationing and securing sufficient water storage to provide to guests during shortages.”
“Our popular infinity pool was one of the first in the city to close to prevent evaporation and unnecessary use of water. It has subsequently reopened and going forward, it will be topped up with filtered seawater only, when required.”
Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence, Cape Town
“To encourage shorter showers, we have installed timers and stickers within all showers,” said Desmond O’Connor, GM of Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence, Cape Town. “We’ve also implemented numerous measures in our back of house areas to reduce water usage, for example using only microwaves or ovens to defrost food items, removal of wash basins in some areas and also controlling the usage of our chillers to reduce condenser water consumption. In terms of our pool, we closed it a few months ago, but over the holiday period have reopened it with non-potable water, with the intention of closing it end-January. We also turned off the pool heater and installed a water blanket as additional measures.”
Radisson RED Cape Town
“All of our water fixtures are green leaf certified, contributing towards a reduction in water usage. Our newly-built hotel has incorporated design elements that assist in water saving, such as eco flush on all toilets, no baths, but rather showers which heat up in under six seconds and a climate control system that uses ocean water for heating and cooling processes,” said Dale Simpson, Curator of Radisson RED Cape Town.
“We have also included a “H20 Help’ water menu which can be found in the key card sleeve and interactive TV’s in the hotel rooms, revealing many ways guests can assist the hotel in saving water. One of the menu items which has become a standard part each bathroom is the red buckets in the shower, which is then utilised to water the succulents on the roof. We’ve also changed our front of house uniforms to custom-designed T-shirts illustrating a dripping tap image and the message to help Cape Town save water. This immediately engages guests upon arrival and provides the ideal opportunity to allow us to explain the crisis appropriately. In terms of our splash pool on our rooftop, we only refill it with plant water.”
“Every drop counts,” concludes McIntyre, “and the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is committed to ensuring that its hotels save as much water as possible. With our guest’ support – we can truly make a difference and with the strongest of hopes, delay the looming Day Zero.”
– Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group