Phuket hotels collaborate with ONWR to tackle water crisis and boost sustainable tourism

Picture courtesy of diana.grytsku, Freepik.

Facing a critical water shortage, the Office of the National Water Resources (ONWR) devised a strategy to collaborate with Phuket hotels, launching an initiative to decrease water utilisation in the tourism industry. Surasee Kittimonthon, the ONWR secretary-general, highlighted the escalating water crisis in the popular Thai resort island, marked by inadequate water supply and treatment issues.

With the tourist count expected to rise, the water demand is anticipated to intensify, thereby exacerbating the crisis. One of the proposed solutions to mitigate these shortages during drought periods is to convert canals into water storage areas, rather than allowing the water to run off into the sea. These canals would be equipped with water gates to facilitate water retention, Surasee suggested.

In addition, the nine local administrative organisations currently without wastewater treatment facilities should install such infrastructures to mitigate the environmental impact. The ONWR has also proposed a collaborative initiative with hotels to install water meters in showers, showcasing real-time water usage data. This initiative could initially be implemented in large or international chain hotels.

The move is expected to contribute to a reduction in water consumption and foster sustainable tourism. Each hotel should also adopt a green policy, encouraging guests to refrain from daily towel changes, Surasee added.

Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, the president of the Phuket Chamber of Commerce, has appealed to the government to construct an additional reservoir on the island. Currently, three reservoirs on the island have a combined storage capacity of 21 million cubic litres, whereas the annual demand is around 80 million.

Four days ago, Thailand’s popular island destination of Phuket held a forum to discuss the region’s persistent water issues, led by OWNR Secretary-General Dr Surasee Kittimonthon.

The forum, which took place yesterday, was attended by over 300 individuals, including Phuket Vice Governor Amnuay Pinsuwan and Phuket Chamber of Commerce President Kongsak Khuphongsakorn. To read more click HERE.

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