FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 14-83
October 9, 2014
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Department of Environmental Protection Honors Participants in New York City’s Hotel Water Conservation Challenge
Top Performing Hotels Reduced Their Water Consumption by More Than 11 Million Gallons Last Year
New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd on Wednesday honored eleven of the city’s premier hotels for their participation in New York City’s Hotel Water Conservation Challenge. Over the last year, each of the hotels took steps to conserve water with the goal of reducing their total consumption by 5 percent. The Sheraton TriBeca achieved the best results, reducing their annual consumption by more than 20 percent. Three other hotels, The Intercontinental Barclay New York, The Ritz Carlton, and the Carlton Hotel also surpassed the 5 percent goal, each reducing their consumption by more than 10 percent. In total, the four hotels that achieved at least a five percent reduction in water consumption conserved nearly 11,300,000 gallons of water over the course of the challenge. The Commissioner gave the New Yorker Hotel an honorable mention for managing to maintain the lowest water usage per square foot for the majority of the challenge. At today’s ceremony, DEP also introduced its new Hotel Manager’s Guide to Water Efficiency which provides tips on conserving water in guest rooms, common areas, food service, laundry and pool operations, and how to detect leaks. DEP plans to distribute the guide to hotels throughout the five boroughs in an effort to replicate the success of the Hotel Water Conservation Challenge. All of the hotels in New York City consume approximately 10 million gallons of water a day. If one third of hotels in the city reduced their consumption by 5 percent, is would save roughly 64 million gallons of water each year.
“We are very fortunate in New York to have an abundant supply of clean drinking water, but faced with the likely effects of climate change and a growing population we must conserve our natural resources and find other ways to make our city more sustainable,” said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd . “I would like to extend my thanks to the participants in the City’s conservation challenge and I encourage them to keep up their efforts to save water.”
“Few things are more vital to life than the water supply, but treating New York City’s water at wastewater treatment plants consumes a significant amount of electricity and adds to our carbon footprint,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Director of the Office of Recovery and Resiliency . “This program reduces water use and therefore the resources needed to treat it, and complements efforts the City is doing to benchmark both energy and water use in our buildings in order to drive efficiency and ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, by reducing our water consumption we have a larger margin between demand and capacity, which provides for a more resilient water supply.”
“It is great to see NYC DEP developing a customized guide to help hotels in the City save water”, said Veronica Blette, program manager for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program . “I hope that others participating in our national WaterSense H2Otel Challenge will look to it as a model for working with hotels in their own communities.”
“The Carlton is proud to have been an active participant in the NYC Water challenge and thrilled that we were able to save to our targeted goal. We will continue to apply the lessons learned in this valuable initiative and promote awareness to our guests and our associates,” said Vic Freeman, General Manager of the Carlton Hotel .
A representative of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel added: “The Ritz - Carlton NY Central Park is thrilled to join the New York City Department of Environmental Protection's efforts to reduce hotel water consumption and meet the goals set for the Hotel Water Conservation Challenge. As the property continues to strive toward sustainable quality and distinction, we look forward to continuing to preserve the City’s natural resources and support our local community through ecologically sound initiatives.”
The Hotel Water Conservation Challenge is one part of DEP’s efforts to conserve water as part of a $1.5 billion initiative to ensure clean, reliable, and safe drinking water for more than nine million New Yorkers for decades to come. As part of this initiative, DEP is working to repair leaks in the Delaware Aqueduct that supplies roughly half of the city’s daily drinking water. In order to complete these repairs to the Aqueduct, the tunnel must be temporarily shut down between 2020 and 2021. Ahead of the planned shutdown, DEP aims to reduce citywide water consumption by five percent.
To reduce water use in residential properties, DEP recently initiated a $23 million High Efficiency Toilet Replacement Program that will replace inefficient toilets in select residential properties across the five boroughs and save 10 million gallons of water each day. In addition to encouraging homeowners to conserve water, DEP is installing activation buttons on spray showers at 400 playgrounds around the city that will save 1.5 million gallons of water a day during the summer months. DEP is also installing new, high efficiency fixtures in the bathrooms of 500 City schools to reduce water consumption by nearly 4 million gallons each school day.
In addition, as part of the City’s Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, owners of large buildings are required to annually measure their energy and water consumption in a process called benchmarking. Local Law 84 standardizes this process and captures the information within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's free online benchmarking tool called Portfolio Manager. By empowering building owners, and potential buyers, with a better understanding of a building's energy and water consumption, the market will eventually shift towards increasingly efficient, high-performing buildings.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with nearly $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. This capital program is responsible for critical projects like City Water Tunnel No. 3; the Staten Island Bluebelt program, an ecologically sound and cost-effective stormwater management system; the city’s Watershed Protection Program, which protects sensitive lands upstate near the city’s reservoirs in order to maintain their high water quality; and the installation of more than 820,000 Automated Meter Reading devices, which allow customers to track their daily water use, more easily manage their accounts and be alerted to potential leaks on their properties. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep , like us on Facebook at facebook.com/nycwater , or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/nycwater .