No bathtubs or ice buckets as hotels seek to save water in French eastern Pyrenees


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Tourism operators have signed a charter containing around 30 measures aimed at reducing water usage, including a ban on ice buckets.

New hotels built over the next six years will be designed to save and re-use water. Fewer bath tubs will be included; plugs will be removed from existing ones.

Brice Sannac, President of the union of hotel trades and industries of the Pyrenees-Orientales, said hotel owners and operators have accepted the need to adapt to the conditions.

”The new hotels that are being built and will be built until 2030 will be installing systems to recover shower water for use in the toilet. We’ll stop flushing the toilet with drinking water,” he said.

Xavier Mahaux, a hotel owner, said water used for swimming pool maintenance would be reused.

”When we were cleaning the filter, the water went straight into the rainwater system. From tomorrow, it will be collected in a tank in the equipment room and we’ll use it both for the plants and to clean the pool area,” he said.

Drought was declared in France’s Pyrenees-Orientales coastal region last year. Car washing, garden watering and pool filling were banned to try to preserve drinking water supplies.

One of the main rivers, the Agly, has been virtually dry for more than a year.

France‘s weather bureau said the drought is the most severe since records began in 1959.

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