I keep having the same discussions with different lodges concerning water conservation. This is one of the 5 areas of my Eco Rating Exam. The 5 areas are Energy, water, recycling, land and conservation, and community.
Water conservation makes a lot of sense because there is a big water problem worldwide. Wikipedia has an article on it here: Worldwide Water shortage, they claim there is a water scarcity in every continent of the world. The map below shows it:
The Eco Rating Exam stresses water conservation. Lodges and Tours in very wet and rainy areas feel that they shouldn’t be held up to the same standards because there is an abundance of water where they are. I have tried to incorporate some things into the questions of the Eco Ratings Exam. For example, one of the questions is do you re-use gray water for irrigation? This makes no sense if you have so much rain water that you don’t even have to irrigate. I solved this question by adding this as a possible answer: Water is abundant and there is no need to collect gray water. There is another question that lodges do score lower on if they answer no. That question asks if they record their water usage as part of water conservation. So far, I have been tackling this question on an individual basis but maybe it’s time for some guidelines.
Promoting Ecotourism by Education
Our overall goal is promoting ecotourism. As such, I think eco lodges and tours are in a great position to help educate people and act as the fore front for Global change. By recording usage and conserving to some extent, even when they don’t have to because of an abundance shows the world that it’s important. As with most things in life, this is a progression. I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts about this water issue. the more it is discussed, the more we will move forward towards change.
Here’s a quick way to share your opinion.
Do you think lodges/tours should have to record their water usage if they are located somewhere with abundant water?
We should be looking at this issue in a global perspective. There were no water shortages anywhere once upon a time. Some of the areas where there is shortage may have been able to avoid a shortage if everyone had been thinking about conserving resources. Where there is no shortage, people should conserve so there will never be a shortage. Additionally, who knows if/when things will get so bad that those who have no shortage will HAVE to share with others to keep the planet from dying. So this is not just a global issue, it is an issue of being prepared for any eventuality.
And just from a fairness perspective, one should not get special designation just by “accident” of location.
Calabash Mountain Villa