What are you doing to stop the global water crisis?

United the industry can help eradicate the global water risk

United the industry can help eradicate the global water risk

Green Hotelier Talking Point: Water

Today over one billion people don’t have access to clean and safe water. Continuing our Talking Point on Water, Karena Albers, Founder of Whole World Water, argues a united Hospitality and Tourism Industry can help eradicate this issue. But what are you doing?

We are at the dawn of a new cultural era. Humanity is moving towards a world that is more connected, more local, more digital and indeed, more sustainable.

Yesterday’s world was shaped by modernist values; from the design of our cities to our homes, technologies and our concepts of progress.

Our relationship to all of these things has been recast. The new paradigm of our time is more interconnected and interdependent, global as well as local; changing how we live, do business, feed ourselves, design, communicate, and build our communities, as much as how we deal with nature.

There is a groundswell of positive change that is happening within all sectors, through multiple disciplines on every continent, in every country, impacting every city across the globe-and ultimately redefining the way we live as a society.

The travel and tourism industry has an unprecedented opportunity to capture this moment in time, grab the reigns and start a creative revolution that delivers deep, sweeping, sustainable change on a monumental scale.

No other industry has the global footprint, or the immense sphere of influence.

The matrix that runs the industry is massive and multifaceted - from developers, to owners to operators, employees and guests. Imagine if we could mobilise this constituency and get them all moving in the same direction towards a sustainable future. And in the spirit of collaboration as opposed to competition, address the challenge of our diminishing resources and do more than share best practices, but incubate innovative solutions, that at scale, can help eradicate global issues-such as water scarcity.

In other words let’s conduct “round tables”, invite stakeholders and creative thinkers to evolve a problem to get to a positive solution. A collective that could include employees, guests, activists, innovators, inventors, scientists, owners, philosophers, engineers, educators, architects... each using a different “filter” to illuminate a problem, stimulate debate and ultimately arrive at a sustainable solution.

And let’s begin with water, our most precious natural resource. Access to clean and safe drinking water is a critical global issue for all of us everywhere. Let’s showcase what can be done with the unbridled capacity of the human spirit within a single industry.

Read more about how you can play your part and join the campaign.


The International Tourism Partnership hosted an online debate as part of BITC’s Responsible Business Week, which discussed collaborating with competitors to create big gains in sustainability.

ITP members NH Hoteles and Starwood took part in the discussion to talk about how they had found ways to work together and collectively create the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative – amongst other programmes.

ITP also has a working group for water. Last year they published their water risk report. If you would like to play a more active role in addressing global water issues, you should contact ITP’s Head of Programmes Fran Hughes who would be happy to hear from you.


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