Cape Water Crisis: 9 ways this hotel reduced its YOY consumption by 17%

2017-09-05 20:03 - Selene Brophy
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Cape Town - A Western Cape hotel group has reduced its water consumption by more than 17% over the past year - this under increased occupancy to boot.

Rather remarkable when you consider the dire situation the province is in.  The City of Cape Town has instituted Level 5 water restrictions as of Sunday, 3 September as current dam levels sit at 35,1%, with 25,1% usable water, which has prompted the implementation of Level 5 water restrictions.

The target of 500 million litres of total water per day and 87-litres of water per person per day still stands, however at the moment collective consumption is 104 million litres above the daily target.

The city has also stated there will be a delay in the opening of public swimming pools due to the level 5 water restrictions and drought.  

SEE: SA Gov calls for wastewater to be used amidst Cape drought

Tsogo Sun hotel group is certainly putting a dent into its water consumption.

And while most sectors have shown a decline in their consumption, the commercial sector has unfortunately seen an increase in consumption with the City urging all people to take note that the individual limits include both home and work consumption. 

A visit was paid to the group’s SunSquare hotel in the Cape Town City Bowl by Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, and Anton Bredell, Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning. Winde kicked off his Tourism Month programme, by visiting the Group's Sunsquare which has effective put the following water savings methods in place:

Tsogo Sun’s Operations Director for the Cape region, John van Rooyen says, “Tsogo Sun is committed to saving water at its properties in Cape Town. Hotels in the group have introduced several measures to save water. These include installing aerators and flow restrictors on taps as well as low pressure shower heads.

SEE:  Cape Water Crisis: Rainfall 'remains unpredictable' as R74m allocated to drought relief

“Staff members are also constantly monitoring water usage against certain targets through newly installed dashboards. The frequency of replacing linen and towels has also been reduced.

“Guests and staff are made aware of the water-saving measures introduced at the hotels, and asked to assist with using water sparingly, through various initiatives including posters displayed in public areas as well as awareness cards containing tips on how to save water that are handed to guests on check-in. Since implementing these water-savings measures, Tsogo Sun’s hotels in the Western Cape 

Garry Reed, general manager at the Southern Sun The Cullinan, highlighted some of these initiatives during the visit.


  • 1. Pressure valves on showers allow for a maximum flow of 8 litres per minute;
  • 2. Urinal sensors;
  • 3. Reduced pressure of hand wash basin taps;
  • 4. Back of house shower pressure valves allow a maximum flow of up to 3 litres;
  • 5. Extra hot water return line to provide hot water on demand;
  • 6. Sheets and towels are not changed unless requested by guests;
  • 7. No table cloths are used in restaurant;
  • 8. Linen serviettes replaced by paper serviettes;
  • 9. Building management system to alert high water usage, leaks etc.

Winde says, “Research has found that in developing countries, tourists use between three and eight times more water than residents. We know that water is key for economic growth, and central to many tourism experiences. This is why we need the tourism sector to partner with us to conserve water.

“It is important to celebrate business leaders in water savings like Tsogo Sun. You are helping us transfer this message to tourists. By showcasing these best practices, we are urging other establishments to follow your lead. This is a crisis and we need everyone to play a role in conserving water.”

Minister Winde encouraged the sector to sign the Western Cape Government’s draft Economic Sector Water Security Declaration.

Bredell says, “We are seeing the very real effects of climate change. For the past 3 years, we have experienced below average rainfall. The City of Cape Town has its plan in place, and we will be getting all municipalities on board. All high-risk municipalities will go onto level 5 water restrictions. We’re also working with geo hydrologists to manage our groundwater.

SEE: PICS: SA awash with spring loveliness, but so is the world’s driest, highest desert

“Recovering from this crisis is not going to be easy, but if we work together we can avoid Day Zero.

“We need to showcase and share best practices like Tsogo Sun, everyone must step up and do their bit to save water.”

The city has indicated that managers of commercial properties must, with immediate effect, ensure that their monthly consumption of the municipal supply of water is reduced by 20% compared with a year ago.

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