Tourism and water conservation

Throughout Australia, the issue of water conservation is vital for the long term sustainability of our economy and environment.

At Gold Coast, this issue is exacerbated with the constant influx of tourists. Although environmental awareness is increasing, visitors to a region often have no vested interest in the long term effects of their behaviour.

To help reduce water usage, Council’s Gold Coast Water has produced a ‘Waterwise Manual of Best Practices’ specifically for the area’s large number of hotels and resorts. Presented in user friendly, simple English, the Manual targets domestic cleaning, kitchens, laundries and grounds maintenance.

Staff are shown how they can analyse their water usage and see where it goes. Management is encouraged to delegate responsibility so each employee is conscious of their important role in reducing water usage.

Careful adherence to guidelines in the Manual could prove very cost effective for the industry as Council is currently looking at options for consumption based or user pays pricing, in line with the new National Competition Policy.

The Hotels Association is delighted with the Manual and it has already been distributed to other interested groups. Plans are now under way to produce a similar manual for caravan parks and other industry groups.

Having suffered the effects of drought in recent years, Gold Coast is pleased that the City has managed to reduce its water consumption by 12% over the past four years in spite of a steady increase in population and decreased rainfall patterns.

On a community wide scale, water conservation is promoted through a school education program emphasising its importance to the younger generation. Gold Coast Water also employs a full time teacher who visits all schools in the area to work with students on this important topic. Hands on displays of water saving devices at local libraries and shows have also helped to spread the message.

Wherever possible Gold Coast Water and Waterwise Queensland join forces to obtain the maximum dollar and expertise advantage possible.

‘Waterwise: Manual of Best Practices’ is available for $5 a copy.

For further information, contact Darren Hayman, telephone (07) 5581 6497.