Water conservation is an important strategy for sustainable tourism, that can pay dividends in several ways including:


Droughts have already had negative impacts on the quality of the tourism experience in the Caribbean, other destinations in the U.S., and around the world.  New drought cycles from climate change may complicate this existing situation.

Good water conservation programs can help ensure that the quality of the tourism experience remains high.

In Bermuda, and the U.S. Virgin Islands the law requires new development to include rainwater collection to help provide sufficient water supplies

Bermuda white roofs

Water conservation also can save significant dollars in less water use, less water treatment costs, less labor costs, and less energy use.  Using less water also strengthens the local economy as more economic resources are available for the local area.

Water conservation also helps protect ecosystems that include tourist attractions that may be related to fishing, hiking, sailing, etc.

Water conservation can also be a tool for disaster reduction.  Landscaping along can help reduce storm runoff in the water ways as much as 50%.  This not only lessons the impacts of storm surge from hurricanes or floods but also speeds the recovery as only half the impact occurs.

Finally, good water conservation also reduces the pollution in the water ways as the less  storm and sewer runoff into the streams translates into less pollution in the water ways.

The potential is enormous.  Walt Disney World for example has been able to:


There are many best practices that communities can adopt to promote water sustainability. Some examples include:

Here are 4 questions that could be asked to any tourism related business or organization in any destination community that can be answered in a way that is both measurable and trackable over time, related to water conservation:

Two methods for obtaining the specific information being asked in the questions could be through regular monitoring of water usage and analysis of bills, and through implementing water-saving technologies and practices such as low-flow showerheads, faucets and toilets. For example, a hotel could track water usage on a daily basis, comparing it to previous periods or industry benchmarks, and provide invoices or water bills as proof of their conservation efforts. Another example would be the installation of a rainwater harvesting system, which could significantly reduce the amount of potable water needed for irrigation.

Examples of goals a business could establish to further lower environmental impact over time: