04.15.14Alan Harris

Time to Check Out H2Otel Challenge

Pelican Hill Coliseum Pool
The Resort at Pelican Hill Newport Beach reduced their outdoor water use and saved money.

Photo Credit: Prayitno/more than 2.5 millions views thank you!

H2Otel Challenge is a new EPA WaterSense program that reduces water use and saves money. Want proof? Ask Caesar’s Entertainment who was the first hotel group to sign up for the program or The Resort at Pelican Hill Newport Beach who reduced their outdoor water use by 37% and saved $75,000 on their water bill in a year. As the Hilton Palacio del Rio in San Antonio, Texas;  San Francisco’s Parc 55 Union Square Hotel and the Holiday Inn San Antonio International Airport discovered the program is not just for resorts. These three hotels collectively reduced their water use by 28 million gallons a year resulting in a savings in excess of $334,000!

What is the WaterSense H2Otel Challenge?

Launched in 2014, the WaterSense H2Otel Challenge encourages hotels to assess their water use, learn about the best management practices (BMPs) WaterSense at Work: Best Management Practices for Commercial and Institutional Facilities  for reducing water use in hotels, and track the results. To participate in the program hotels have to take ACTion.


  • Assess water use and savings opportunities;
  • Change products or processes to incorporate BMPs; and
  • Track water–saving progress and achievements.

These actions have good consequences which includes using less water and saving money.

More Than Just Laundry

Many hotels already have water-saving programs for washing guest towels and sheets. Some hotels even train their staff to follow the “leave it hanging” program. Laundry programs are just the tip of the iceberg. Incorporating water-efficient products, processes, and practices in restrooms, kitchens, mechanical systems, and landscaping also saves water, energy, and money! WaterSense offers a variety of ways for hotels to take the challenge and start saving.

  • Restroom Plumbing Upgrades: specify WaterSense labeled toilets, faucets, showerheads, or flushing urinals, which are independently certified to use 20 percent less water than the federal standard and perform well to ensure guests’ satisfaction. Using a WaterSense showerhead can save 4 gallons of water with every shower which for every 100 rooms equates to over 180,000 gallons per year! (90% occupancy, 1.5 showers per room per day)
  • Kitchen and Mechanical Systems: save water and energy without affecting the guest experience. From dishwashers and pre-rinse spray valves to cooling towers and boilers, efficiencies are plumb waiting for implementation.
  • Outdoor Irrigation: save with a water-smart landscape or WaterSense labeled irrigation controller, designed to make scientific decisions as to when and how much water to use to maintain a healthy landscape. This is the segment we have the most interest and participation. Coming Soon: The Resort at Pelican Hill Case Study.

One person who loves to get a call from the EPA is our own Richard Restuccia. Richard co-presented the webinar Make a Splash With Outdoor Water Savings .

Other H2Otel Challenge Webinars

There are a series of WaterSense H2Otel Challenge webinars where specific water best management practices are reviewed and professionals who are using water more efficiently share their experiences.

  • Take the Plunge: The WaterSense H2Otel Challenge
  • Assess, Track, Realize Paybacks
  • Washing 101: A Plumbing and Laundry Efficiency Primer

Demonstrating WaterSense’s WaterUSE Tool
May 29, 2014, 2:00—3:30 p.m. ET – Register now

Minimize Water Use in Mechanical/HVAC Systems
June 12, 2014, 2:00—3:30 p.m. ET – Register now

Local Water Conservation Programs

Quick shout-out to Athens-Clarke County in Georgia and their local Certified Blue program. Certified Blue helps restaurants, bars, and institutions in Athens-Clarke County use less water and promote efficient water use in the community. The basis for Certified Blue is “WaterSense at Work,” which was developed as part of the federal EPA’s WaterSense program. If your municipality has a similar water conservation certification program please add a link in the Comment section.

If you enjoyed reading about the H2Otel Challenge, please share it with a friend, check out my previous posts, follow me on Twitter @h2oMatters and check out water stories I am reading on Flipboard:



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Alan Harris

Alan Harris is a water management pioneer. With roots in landscape architecture, Alan has worked with irrigation throughout his career experimenting with hydrozones and a variety of high efficiency irrigation systems. Now, over thirty years in the landscape industry, Alan continues to stay apprised of the latest technology even in a sales leadership capacity as our Director of Sales Operations for our landscape maintenance division. In addition to his contributions to this blog, Alan keeps his hand in water management as a regular contributor to Lawn & Landscape Magazine and speaker at WaterSmart Innovations Conference.


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  1. Wednesday, 6:39 Water Select®

    Awesome post! It’s great that these hotels are participating in water conservation. Hotels can save a lot of water by giving guests more control in the shower. New technology allows a guest to have total control of water flow in the shower, and each time they reduce flow the hotel saves water, energy, and money. We have some great info for hotels too at

  2. […] you miss the WaterSense “Make a Splash With Outdoor Water Savings” webinar, which introduced you to outdoor water saving methods for hotels featuring Richard […]

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