CHLA Advocates for Water Conservation in California Hotels

    By CHLA Staff

    It’s no secret—we’re in the midst of a drought and every drop of water matters.

    CALIFORNIA’S HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY IS DRIVEN by a dream shared by millions around the world. In this dream, there are palm trees, beaches, and incredible scenes that can be found nowhere else. That’s, in part, why people visit and it’s also part of why people stay. However, as professionals in the state, we find our communities in a crisis, and one which threatens every element of our way of life—a prolonged and more extreme drought.

    California’s climate has undergone a serious transformation, with prolonged periods of hotter and dryer conditions straining our state’s water supply. As a part of California’s hospitality industry, CHLA is calling on our members and our industry to take immediate action to combat the drought however we can—and we’re developing the tools to help you do it.

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    Evidence of common hotel water-uses is apparent before a guest ever steps foot in the hotel. In fact, it’s often seen on the drive up—it’s in the grass, the trees, and the incredible landscapes hotels build to create a sense of awe in a traveler’s heart. However, we need to adjust how we awe the incoming guest. Instead of using water intensive decorative turf which, coincidentally, the watering of which is banned under a state emergency order, hotels should seek ways to develop functional turf spaces or deploy additional drought-resistant vegetation to vegetate open spaces. The options available to hoteliers in this space are significant, but they often come with notable costs and lengthy design times.

    However, there are water-smart policies hotels can utilize to reduce water consumption and help make a dent in California’s drought. Some of these policies begin with the traveler’s choice. Specifically, we speak of daily room cleanings. In hotels, approximately 17% of the facility’s water usage is driven by room cleanings, whether through the actual process of cleaning the rooms, doing laundry, and more. However, much of this water consumption can be reduced simply by asking a guest to defer daily housekeeping. While some guests may prefer daily housekeeping, giving them the option to opt-in to the daily cleaning will help your hotel set conservation on the right track to preserve water, while ensuring that the guest’s preferences are always met.

    At CHLA, we understand that it may be an unusual concept to broach with a guest, or even one which the guest might forget about after they’ve finished checking in. So, to help our members save water as quickly as possible, CHLA is offering our members access to pre-designed water cards or mirror stickers—so that your guests have the option to choose the best experience possible—for them. As they say, the customer is always right, so be sure that they have the right options and the information they need to choose between them.

    To take advantage of this free CHLA Member Benefit, click here. To learn more about what you can do to help save water within your organization, please visit

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