Hotel Water Management in California

Michelle L. Thomas, Walden University


Due to emerging water scarcities, maintaining the quantity and quality of available global water supplies presents significant risks to several industries, including the rapidly growing tourism and hospitality industry. Because firms in this industry consume large amounts of water, their operating costs may be impacted significantly by future water shortages. The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to explore the use and effectiveness of the Hotel Water Measurement Initiative (HWMI) assessment tool to define hotel water usage in major cities in California and describe how water usage for hotels in California compares to hotel water usage throughout the United States. The framework for this study was based on stakeholder theory and the Ceres Aqua Gauge assessment tool for water risk. Secondary data were obtained from the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research Benchmarking Indexes for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018: Energy, Water, and Carbon Research. The data obtained from leading hospitality companies were observed utilizing statistical analysis. Two quantitative methods were used, the first quantitative method was time series analysis and the second quantitative method was one-sample hypothesis testing. Results from the study indicated a positive trend in hotel assessment in major cities in California, significant reductions in hotel water use in major cities in California, and insight on how hotel water management in California compares to the U.S. benchmark. The results of this study provide hotel managers with an understanding of how the use of water management assessment tools can help to increase the effectiveness of their water management methods and improve overall U.S. environmental and social quality in the long-term.