I just heard from this article via the Meetings Community (MeCo) listserv that the Environmental Protection Agency is putting $15,000 toward developing a wireless system that will track how long guests take in the shower. The idea, according to the Washington Free Beacon article, is to create a device that would fit onto the individual shower fixtures and "wirelessly transmit hotel guest water usage data to a central hotel accounting system,” according to an EPA grant to the University of Tulsa. The goal? To make American hotel guests rethink the length of their average 8-minute, 17-gallon hotel showers and decide to take shorter showers instead.
Related: Green Meetings/CSR
“This technology will provide hotel guests with the ability to monitor their daily water online or using a smartphone app and will assist hotel guest in modifying their behavior to help conserve water,” the grant says. The EPA already is behind hotels implementing linen and towel reuse programs (sidenote: Someday, I'd love to see housekeeping actually not replace towels that guests have indicated don't need replacing! Makes me crazy). It also encourages hotels to watch their water use overall, and install low-flow toilets and showerheads, if they haven't already. (Sidenote #2: I wonder if they've heard about Soneter, which is developing something similar: A meter that multi-tenant building owners can clamp onto individual unit water pipes to measure water usage and report the data back to building management and maybe residents via the cloud?)
Related: How "Fees-ible" Is Your Host Hotel?
The person who posted the article link on MeCo thinks this may be the beginning of a new water-usage fee. What do you think? If it's not covered in the poll, please feel free to drop a comment below.
Update: I just got this related press release, California Passes New Mandatory Water Conservation Rules for Hotels and Restaurants. I think we can expect similar in other drought-stricken states.
Image by silverjohn via Thinkstock by Getty Images
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