Israel: GREENinMED highlights Water Management Solutions for Tourism

On May 24rd, the Israeli GREENinMED partners – the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, and Kinneret College – hosted a transnational workshop on Innovative Water Management Solutions for the Tourism Industry, in the Hevel Eilot regional council. The workshop was held as part of the GREENinMED project, which has the goal of making the Mediterranean tourism industry more sustainable through water and energy efficiency. The workshop was attended by stakeholders and experts in the water sector and the Israeli hotel industry, as well as some researchers from the Hevel Eilot region. The workshop was also broadcasted live on Facebook.

The workshop began with some opening remarks from Prof. Ram Shpiner, faculty at Kinneret College, who briefly summarized the proceedings of the previous day's workshop on Innovative Energy Management Solutions for the Tourism Industry, and emphasized the connection between water and energy management as part of the food-water-energy nexus. Capenergies' Valentina Vologni then presented the French GREENinMED partner's findings on political and social aspects of climate change, and it's implications on the tourism sector. 

This was followed by a presentation by Liraz Amer, the Six Senses Shaharut Sustainability Manager. This luxury hotel in the middle of the Arava Desert has made it its mission to provide tourists with a high-end comfortable stay in a very remote location, while keeping its negative environmental impact to a minimum. The first Israeli hotel to receive the LEED Certicification from the US Green Building Council, it relies on treating its own wastewater, a solar power plant, smart energy and water efficient technologies, various green building methods, and a general attention to sustainable use of the naturally present resources of the area.

One of the technologies used at the Six Senses Shaharut hotel is its own wastewater treatment plant. Marc Krieger presented this technology developed by Aqwise, which provides a small-scale solution for water reuse in hotels, businesses, or municipal institutions.

After a short break, researcher Dr. Yoram Ben Ari shared the findings of his doctoral work on The impact of climate change on tourism infrastructures in Israel. He especially pointed towards the disparities between large-scale solutions that are offered on a governmental level, and the needs of small and medium-sized tourism facilities in regards to climate change adaptation and mitigation. 

The last speaker was Rosa Nieto from Cenergist who presented some of the company's smart water saving solutions for hotels, such as a stream-regulating attachment for faucets.  

The workshop was concluded with an open discussion, allowing the participants to raise questions about various topics discussed during the workshop.