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Glass Half Full: Ways to Accelerate Progress in Honor of World Water Day

The first World Water Day took place on March 22, 1993. Three decades later, it’s as important as ever to celebrate water and draw attention and action to the billions of people who lack access to this vital resource.

Published on: March 16, 2023
View of Hanalei Bay from Resort

As we reach the 30th year of celebration of World Water Day, it remains critical to come together to take action surrounding water conservation and stewardship, as this vital resource remains at the core of sustainable development and the survival of people and ecosystems across the globe. That’s why World Water Day focuses on inspiring action towards clean water and sanitation for all by 2030.

The reality is:

  • Two billion people do not have access to safely managed drinking water.
  • Over 40% of people across the world face water scarcity.
  • Over 80% of human-generated wastewater runs into rivers and seas without any sanitation whatsoever.
  • Nearly 1,000 children die every day from preventable water and sanitation-related illness.
  • 70% of all deaths from natural disasters are a result of floods and other water-related disasters.

While this is the stark truth, we’d also like to celebrate the amazing progress that’s been made. Since 1990, nearly two billion people around the world have gained access to improved sanitation, while over two billion now have new and improved drinking water sources.

World Water Day 2023: Accelerating Change

The theme for World Water Day 2023 is Accelerating Change to solve the water and sanitation crisis. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 seeks to provide water and sanitation for everyone around the world by 2030, and frankly, we’re not on track to achieve that goal. Billions of people all over the world still do not have access to safe water and sanitation.

World Water Day 2023 aims to encourage you, and everyone around you, to do what you can to change the way you use, consume, and manage water in your lives. In the world of water equity, no action is too small. In other words, your individual actions and our actions as a global brand have the power to start a ripple effect—generating a wave of positive change and getting us all closer to the goals of SDG 6.

How Can You Help?

There are so many ways to champion water stewardship on the individual level. This concept is the basis of World Water Day 2023! Here are a few actionable items to get you started today.

  • Save Water: Conserve water in your home using faucet aerators, low-flow showerheads, water-efficient appliances, and more. Make an effort to take shorter showers and turn off the tap while brushing your teeth and doing dishes.
  • Stop Polluting: Don’t let food waste, cosmetics, chemicals, oils, and beyond go down your toilet and drains. These items end up back in the environment, making it harder to ensure clean water and healthy ecosystems.
  • Eat Local: When thinking of water stewardship, many people don’t immediately think of food. But when you seek out more local and seasonal food, you can often find new options that reduce water usage throughout the supply chain.
  • Get Curious: Do you know where your drinking water comes from? Knowing your water source can help you feel more connected to this natural resource, inviting you to be more intentional about your water use. You can learn more about your water source and water quality by visiting the SimpleLab website and reaching out to your local utility provider. Also, we encourage you to get comfortable reaching out to your representatives to ask them what they’re doing to promote SDG 6 in your community and beyond.
  • Start Conversations: Engage your community through your homeowners’ association, your company, or your local meetups.
  • Document It: Register your commitments so that they’re added to the 2023 Water Action Agenda, a once-in-a-generation initiative to be launched at the UN 2023 Water Conference—uniting your commitments with those of large-scale entities such as corporations, governments, companies, organizations, and beyond.

You can also explore some of the ways water intricately flows through every aspect of the environmental movement in the following articles on The Field Guide. 

We encourage you to share these stories and your learnings with your community through social media, events, and casual conversations.

Additionally, we encourage you to be mindful about using your dollars to vote for companies that consciously and outwardly fight for water stewardship and clean water worldwide—and have third-party certifications and physical evidence to prove it.

As one of those companies, we promise to continue to remain ambitious and transparent on our journey to fight for clean water and sanitation for all.

Water Stewardship at 1 Hotels

After discussing how important it is to responsibly manage and protect water resources around the world, you might be wondering what we’re doing to walk the walk.

With sanctuaries in locations that range from flood-risk to drought-prone, we’ve seen the vitality of water stewardship firsthand. We’re fully committed to responsible use, as well as helping our communities establish resilience around water resource oscillations.

Across Our Brand

Across all existing and opening properties, we maintain the following requirements regarding water stewardship.

  • Landscaping: We ensure indigenous landscaping that adapts to the land, working with the natural ecosystems rather than disrupting them.
  • Irrigation: We use efficient irrigation systems that utilize greywater or rainwater.
  • Fixtures: All bathrooms and guestrooms are equipped with low-flow fixtures. 
  • Filters: We provide water-efficient filtration systems in-room or at the base building level.
  • Fill-up: We ensure filtered water fill-up stations are easily accessible for all guests (in-room or on-floor).
  • Monitoring: We use building-level water monitoring at all properties and local monitoring wherever possible.
  • Standards: We maintain cooling tower management standards and LEED, ENERGY STAR®, and WELL building certifications.

We firmly believe that no effort is too small to count, so we’d also like to highlight some of the ways our food and beverage venues save water on a daily basis. First, we partner with local purveyors who rely on sustainable and regenerative agriculture practices that maintain healthy water standards—from ethical fisheries and oyster-replenishment programs to free-range organic meats and imperfect produce.

Our sustainable cocktail program is another reason to toast. According to the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER), producing one liter of the average spirit requires 37 liters of water. To reduce this, we source our spirits from sustainable companies such as Botanist Gin, Hanson’s Organic Vodka, and Hacienda Patrón. As an example, Hacienda Patrón uses a cutting-edge water treatment and reclamation system that reuses water from their tequila production to power their cooling towers and cleaning operations. Everyday efforts like this add up in a big way.

Property Highlights

On top of these brand-wide initiatives, we’d like to spotlight some unique water-saving initiatives at some of our individual sanctuaries.

  • 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay: On the Garden Island, rainwater is an abundant natural resource. Our 7,400-gallon rainwater harvesting system allows us to irrigate our gardens naturally, helping us reduce our outdoor water consumption by 97% — roughly 3.5 million gallons of water per year.
  • 1 Hotel West Hollywood: Our efficient IntelliFlo Variable Speed and Flow Pool Pump automatically adjusts to changes in flow conditions, resulting in energy savings of up to 90%. Our AFM Pool Filtration system should result in an annual water savings of 80%, equivalent to 21,840 gallons of water per year.
  • 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge: Over on the east coast, our sanctuary acts as a natural extension of Brooklyn Bridge Park. We rely on a rainwater collection tank that supports the park’s irrigation systems and the property’s indigenous landscapes.

Partnerships, Policy, and Public Engagement

We continue to champion the causes of our partners through community events, continuing education, and direct contributions. Below are a few ways our partners contribute to water stewardship worldwide.

  • The NRDC helped win passage of the Clean Water Act in the early 1970s and continues to fight for clean, sanitary, and sufficient water for all through policy, on-site evaluations, education, and more.
  • The Nature Conservancy is taking direct action to protect and conserve 30 million hectares of freshwater, four billion hectares of oceans, and 650 million hectares of land over the next ten years. 
  • Oceanic Global highlights humanity’s relationship with the oceans and provides clear solutions to protect these waters long term.

We’re also committed to speaking out about public policy and continuing to educate our team members and communities through resources such as The Field Guide, expert panels, beach cleanups, and other conservation-centered events. 

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