Until bathing was banned! This French department takes radical measures to fight drought

Until bathing was banned This French department takes radical measures

After two summers of severe drought in the department, the Pyrénées-Orientales decided to take radical measures, including banning baths in hotels.

The Pyrénées-Orientales, in the southwest of France, are expecting a potential new drought this summer. For two years, the department, which is the driest in France, has had to face an arid climate upon arrival during this period. This is why, this year, drastic measures have been decided. The departmental prefecture and the Union of Trades in the Hotel Industry have therefore signed an unprecedented charter comprising around thirty commitments.

Starting this summer, bathtub plugs will be removed from all hotel rooms. The objective is to encourage visitors to use showers in order to save water. Low flow taps will also be installed in all hotels. Ice cube trays usually used to cool alcoholic drinks such as wine or champagne will also be removed. This water is in fact not reused after the ice cubes have melted, for hygiene reasons. Restaurants and hotels will therefore have to use cooling plates that can be reused. This change could save nearly 1.5 million liters of water per week in the Pyrénées-Orientales. The swimming pools of establishments dependent on the Union of Trades in the Hotel Industry must also be covered at night. The goal is to reduce water evaporation by 80%.

Customers will also need to be made aware. It will be possible to offer them a “green rate”: by paying less, the towels and linen in the room will be changed less regularly.

Reduce water consumption by 50% by 2030

The objective of this charter is the “global and sustainable reduction in water consumption” by 2030, i.e. 50% less consumption compared to 2023. From now on all new construction or renovation projects in the The hotel industry will have to integrate a water recovery and recycling system. Washing cycles will be reduced and the water from them will have to be reused.