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‘Day Zero’: What More Can Hotels Do to Combat the Drought Crisis in Cape Town?


water-tap-black-and-white-macro-615326.jpegThe global water crisis has been well publicised for many years now. Never before has it been reported that a major international city was on the brink of running out of water. 

Officials in South Africa’s second largest city have delivered a stark warning that taps will run dry on May 11, otherwise known as ‘Day Zero’. This date had previously been set for April 22 but has thankfully been pushed back, as a result of the latest water restrictions, new water sources being made available, and some rain which arrived in the area this week. 

The date that is set for ‘Day Zero’ keeps changing because it’s so heavily dependent on the amount of rainfall in a given week. This lack of certainty is not good news for consumers or businesses and it means timely solutions cannot be executed effectively, which is vital for a city of this size. 

Now more than ever, businesses in the hospitality sector are having to step up their water saving initiatives, as well as play their part in educating their guests on how best to save water. Simon Calder, travel editor at The Independent, said in this video that hotels are asking tourists to limit showers to two minutes and many are offering hand sanitizer as an alternative to using running water to wash hands. 

Towels.jpegThe six hotels that are part of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group are actively encouraging guests to reuse their towels as part of their Just A Drop initiative, as well as only have their linen changed every three days. They are also providing guests with buckets to catch their shower water that can then be used in the garden to water plants. 

Elsewhere, it’s been reported that some hotels are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to install their own off-grid desalination plants so they can turn ocean water into a usable drinking and washing source. 

While so many hotels across the city are working as hard as they can to introduce water saving initiatives as quickly as possible, one of the key ways in which water can be conserved is to explore introducing a long-term technologically-advanced on premise laundry solution, such as that provided by Xeros. Alternatively, for hotels that want to keep their laundry outsourced, commercial laundry operators will benefit hugely from implementing a system such as Xeros, not only to hugely reduce water but also to boost quality and customer satisfaction. 

In early January, Xeros CEO Mark Nichols was interviewed on the popular Cape Town breakfast show, CapeTalk radio on the drought crisis. He explained how Xeros’ near-waterless laundry technology utilises small nylon spheres, called XOrbs™, to replace a large amount of the water used in the wash process. As well as the huge water saving, the system uses significantly less energy and chemicals, yet also greatly improves cleaning performance and linen life. 

Xeros is currently working with local company fanute Hospitality Solutions as the exclusive launch partner in the region, with the first Xeros machine having been installed in Cape Town in mid-February. 

One of the main benefits of the Xeros washing system, which is already a popular solution in hotel chains in the US and the UK, is that it uses 80% less water than conventional washers. So, by installing the Xeros system onsite, hotels across Cape Town and the rest of South Africa will be provided with a long-term solution for reducing their water use and helping to prevent a drought crisis on this level from ever happening again.

In South Africa and wondering if the Xeros system is a good fit for your business, helping you save money and significantly reduce your water consumption? Contact our fantastic, sustainability-focused Partner in the region, fanute, on the details below.

+27 (0) 71 681 1165

On February 20th the predicted date for Day Zero in Cape Town was pushed back further, to July 11th. This is due to a wave of rain finally falling in the region and the implementation of additional water-saving measures. This is fantastic news for Cape Town and Xeros looks forward to being a part of this continued push to reduce consumption in the area. However, it further illustrates just how dependent the situation is on a number of variables not directly under the control of authorities – including the weather, residents’ consumption of water and commercial usage levels. This underlines just how important it is for businesses to implement measures that significantly reduce water consumption on a consistent and ongoing basis – something Xeros can support in hotels and commercial laundries.

Topics: South Africa, Water Scarcity