The National Water Resources Office (ONWR) in Thailand is taking progressive steps in conservation as it collaborates with Phuket hotels on a pioneering water preservation initiative. The campaign aims to lower the hospitality industry’s water usage, a stark necessity given Phuket’s fluctuating water supply and treatment problems.
Surasee Kittimonthon, the esteemed secretary-general of the ONWR, acknowledged the profound water-related challenges Phuket faces. As domestic and international tourism to this stunning island continues to boom, the ever-growing demand for water becomes even more pressing. One viable solution proposed by Mr. Kittimonthon is to repurpose canals into water storage systems, preventing any precious drops from simply flowing out into the vast sea. An additional measure suggested fitting these revitalized canals with water gates, thus ingeniously restricting the amount of precious liquid being wasted.
Further, there are currently nine local administrative organizations that lack wastewater treatment facilities. The ONWR advises allocating resources to develop these facilities as a step to eradicate the negative environmental impacts tied to insufficient wastewater treatment.
To augment water reserves, the ONWR proposed a novel idea – teaming up with hotels to install water meters in shower rooms. These meters would deliver real-time data on water usage. This initiative could initially be tested with larger establishments or international chain hotels before expanding its application.
In line with this, Phuket can leverage this water conservation effort to promote sustainable tourism. Simultaneously, every participating residential establishment can implement eco-friendly hotel policies. One such example as suggested by Mr. Kittimonthon would be to discourage guests from requesting fresh towels each day of their stay, promoting a clear message of sustainability and mindfulness towards resource consumption.
On a similar note, Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, the esteemed president of the Phuket Chamber of Commerce, indicated the urgent need for the creation of another water reservoir in the region. Although the island currently boasts three reservoirs capable of storing a total of 21 million cubic litres, Phuket requires nearly quadruple this amount (approximately 80 million cubic litres) on an annual basis.
Overall, these initiatives reaffirm Phuket’s commitment to paving the path towards a sustainable and eco-friendly future, creating a beautiful and sustainable destination for all.