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AI-Powered Water Management Empowers Hospitality Industry to Reduce Water Waste & Cut Carbon Emissions

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Yaron Dycian

Water consumption is a significant but often overlooked source of global carbon emissions. Large amounts of energy are required to treat and transport clean, safe water—an essential but limited, scarce resource.

In the United States alone, water treatment and delivery accounts for 13 percent of the country’s total electricity consumption, releasing up to 290 million metric tons of carbon every year—approximately 5 percent of total U.S. emissions and equal to the carbon output of more than 60 coal-fired power plants.

In California alone, water-related consumption of electricity, natural gas, and diesel fuel results in carbon emissions equal to 7 million passenger vehicles.

Commercial buildings and facilities across industries are responsible for a large percentage of that energy expenditure. In the U.S., 17 percent of the public water supply is consumed by schools, hotels, retail, offices, and hospitals. Unfortunately, for centuries water consumption in buildings has never been managed nor monitored, resulting in an average of up to 25 percent of water that enters a building which ultimately goes to waste. Therefore, the amount of waste driven by poorly managed water systems leads to high water and sewage costs. Moreover, water leaking from broken pipes and other sources of water incidents typically conclude in significant property damage, remediation costs, business losses, and increased insurance rates.

Hotel Water Consumption is High

Effective water management is an ongoing challenge for the hospitality industry. With large numbers of guests and staff as well as decorative or recreational features such as fountains and swimming pools, hotels and other facilities can use as much as eight times more water than the general population.

Malfunctions in pools or fountains can be twice as hard to detect as other leaks, potentially resulting in massive water loss. Common operational issues such as an open tap or running toilet may be overlooked by guests and can be amplified when rooms are left unattended for long periods. Unnoticed damage in one room can quickly inconvenience guests in other rooms. Repair work is not only disruptive with service downtime, but also expensive and may eventually harm the entire brand reputation.

Better management of one of the world’s essential resources is an important priority for every business owner. For the hospitality sector, water conservation is a critical business imperative. Hospitality organizations can benefit by reducing their carbon footprint, meeting sustainability goals, and addressing the long-term concerns of stakeholders and investors. In addition, by mitigating significant risk of water damage in their facilities, they can enhance the customer experience with robust water management strategies.

Sustainable building operations and effective water-management systems can remarkably reduce water consumption. Forward-thinking organizations recognize the environmental and financial aspects of our current water infrastructure and are rapidly adopting innovative technology to assist with reducing water waste and consequently eliminating carbon emissions as well as saving overall operational costs.

AI-based Opportunities

The new generation of water management solutions that are now available in the market, powered by artificial intelligence, deep machine learning, and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, provide property management teams in many industries a new set of tools for sustainability and operational efficiency.

These solutions improve on previous outdated options by providing accurate real-time data on water consumption, detecting usage patterns, identifying anomalies and automating emergency procedures—allowing teams to take action when necessary—all using a layered network of remote communications.

Data-powered water management offers a way for companies to proactively respond to urgent climate and economic concerns by optimizing water usage. The impact of accurate leak detection demonstrates that such solutions can be an integral part of a successful sustainability strategy for today’s facilities.

These connected solutions empower facilities teams with vital information and analytics that can dramatically improve sustainability and reduce waste, carbon emissions and inefficiency. Just imagine that a running toilet typically consumes approximately 100 gallons per hour, adding up to hundreds of thousands of gallons over the course of a year. And even the best maintained facilities will have a small percentage of toilets experiencing leaks at any time, resulting in annual waste of many millions of gallons. Similar granular data helps establish reliable, predictable, and actionable insights that the property managers can act upon whenever such anomalies are detected.

The Measurable Impact of Water Management in Hospitality

By monitoring water consumption and being able to analyze the history of each water event, management teams can reduce overall water consumption and its related carbon footprint by an average of 25 percent.

Recently, The Atlantis Casino Resort, the largest casino in Reno, Nevada, had to address multiple ongoing operational challenges. The facility’s significant water consumption and commitment to guest satisfaction required a proven solution that would deliver immediate, measurable results. In addition, the solution they were looking for had to support the casino’s mission to sustainably manage its water usage in the high-water stress area they are located in.

The Atlantis Casino Resort installed advanced water management systems throughout the facility’s public and guest areas. With the systems installed, The Atlantis Casino Resort met several critical sustainability and financial goals by cutting water consumption and identifying multiple leaks that prevented damage before it happened. Within the first 12 months, Atlantis had:

  • Identified a high-water flow and automatically shut off the water supply to prevent the damage from a potentially catastrophic leak.
  • Detected multiple water events such as pools and Jacuzzis that were not filling properly.
  • Saw full return on its initial investment.

The exponentially increasing urgency of water sustainability demands immediate innovative solutions. Intelligent management of water in buildings is a crucial part of the effort to ensure future water sustainability and the hospitality sector must take the forefront based on the nature of their business.

Poor water management contributes to the global shortage of this natural resource, strains the world’s infrastructure, and costs the economy billions of dollars every year. Powerful, cutting-edge innovation for the challenges presented by water waste and leaks deliver real-world results that help organizations and the communities they serve.

Yaron Dycian is Chief Product and Strategy Officer for WINT, a groundbreaking company that produces artificial intelligence-powered leak detection and water conservation devices. WINT serves some of the world’s largest organizations including technology, construction, and real estate businesses.

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