Water Management

Water Management

Water is a key resource in tourism and services to tourists are heavily dependent on it. Water can become a constraint to sustainable development, a limit on tourist activities and an issue of conflict with local residents over allocation and pricing, in particular when water is a scarce resource. While new innovative water supplies can be difficult to obtain and costly (e.g. import, desalinization), conservation is one means to reduce or mitigate demand (e.g. recycling waste or grey water). 

For measuring water availability and water conservation a variety of indicators exist, ranging, inter alia, from water use per capita per tourist to water saving and recycled waste and grey water, as well as pricing. In addition to these aspects, measuring the quality of drinking water and sea water are also aspects of interest for tourism and require relevant attention by destinations. 

However, monitoring in the area of water management, especially in water scarce areas, keep being a major challenge for many destinations.


Water Availability and Conservation, Excerpt from Indicators of Sustainable Development of Tourism Destinations, A Guidebook, World Tourism Organization (2004), pp.165–171.


Water and Tourism: Challenges and Opportunities, UN 2023 Water Conference Side Event
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Video Recording of Technical INSTO Webinar on Water and Waste Water Management, World Tourism Organization (06/2021).
Water Footprint and Sustainable Tourism, Presentation at the Technical INSTO Webinar, by Suez Spain (06/2021).


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