Desert Hospitality Water Conservation Program

Many lodging and eating establishments in the Sierra Vista Sub-watershed have agreed to join the Desert Hospitality Water Conservation Program of Cochise County (DHWCP). This is a voluntary program and is free to participating businesses.

Guests of these establishments notice the program primarily through the placement of "tent cards" or signs in guest rooms and on tables. These announce that water will be served only upon request and bed and bath linen will be changed every three days unless requested more often.

These measures save an enormous amount of water, especially in dish washing operations and in hotel and motel laundry rooms. It is estimated that a single glass of water served in a restaurant or dining room requires four additional glasses of water to wash and rinse each glass. The water savings in laundry rooms is also substantial. While a complete daily change out of linen is a luxury most of us might enjoy while staying in a hotel; most of us do not change bed and bath linen on a daily basis while at home.

The program does not impose limitations on customers. Rather, it solicits their cooperation. Comments received about the program by participating businesses are favorable. People seem to appreciate it when businesses show concern for the environment.

Displaying tent cards and limiting water use are only parts of a more comprehensive program these businesses have agreed to. Most participating businesses also agree to:

  • Involve their employees in water conservation, thus making a conservation ethic a part of their business plan.
  • Consider water use factors in the future purchase of equipment for the business.
  • A confidential review of their water use by the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Arizona Water Wise program.
  • Confidentially share historical and future water use data with the County in order to measure the success of implementing the Hospitality Conservation Program.

It is worth noting that there are savings in labor and materials as well as water savings when a business participates in the program. Most important though is the concern these businesses show for:

  • The fact that we live in an arid region of low annual rainfall.
  • The long term drought affecting Cochise County.
  • The request by Fort Huachuca that we assist them with water mitigation in support of their agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • The health of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.
  • The need to frequently remind ourselves and our visitors that water conservation simply makes good business and personal sense in the arid West.

When you see the tent cards, please compliment the management of the business on their participation in the program.

Own a restaurant, hotel or motel and want to participate?
Already in the DHWCP and need supplies?

Email: water@cochise.az.gov 
or call: 520-432-9200

We'll come to you.

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