About the Destination Water Risk Index

The Destination Water Risk Index (DWRI) rates destinations around the world in terms of high to low risk, in a bid to prioritise action within the hospitality sector on destinations facing high water-related risks (including water scarcity) and to future-proof the industry.

The DWRI finds that 13% of all destinations assessed globally have very high or high water risks, with the majority being within the Asian, Middle East and African regions. This breaks down to 90% of destinations evaluated in the Middle East and Africa and 33% of destinations assessed in Asia Pacific. The results also show that Europe and the Americas both contain destinations with high water risk.

In particular it reveals that there are four locations with very high water-related risks:

  • Delhi (India)
  • Maldives (Maldives)
  • Qingdao (China)
  • Xian (China)

What are the objectives of the report?

  • To help hotel companies prioritise action on water scarcity in risk destinations and implement water stewardship strategies in their hotel developments and operation.
  • To encourage the industry to take collective action in high-risk destinations, to address current and future local water scarcity in their properties and within the communities in which they operate.
  • To call the attention of the wider tourism industry and its stakeholders including the national and local governments to water scarcity in these destinations and the need to take proactive and collective action to avoid many more water crisis situations

What is included?

By collating data on global water risk, it identifies:

  • the level of water-related risk in almost 380 destinations worldwide
  • three types of risk: physical, financial and market
  • practical tools and resources to manage water use and be good water stewards

The index reveals key trends in how hotels are affected by water stress, both currently and in the future, and found that countries forecast with the highest water stress in the coming years are also among those with the greatest tourism growth. This highlights the need for the industry to prioritise action in these regions.

Who is it for?

The DWRI seeks to help hotel owners, operators, and their stakeholders to better understand and evaluate water risks and their implications, as they progress towards Net Positive Hospitality. It is designed to provide evidence and rationale to prioritise water conservation in capital allocation, development and renovation decisions, and operational focus in high-risk destinations.

It can be used by:

  • Hotel companies to set context-based targets and build the business case for making investments in solutions, including those which go beyond site-based efficiency towards community-based developments, to ensure truly sustainable water management
  • Hotel developers to better evaluate the risks and financial implications of water scarcity when development planning
  • Destination Management Organisations to gain an understanding of the key water-related risks and engage with local hotel businesses
  • General managers and engineering teams when upgrading water management practices and infrastructure

How was it created?

The Destination Water Risk Index was developed in collaboration with Greenview, and with support for STR (a CoStar Group Company) and Ecolab. Building on our findings from the first edition of the DWRI, the report now includes a total of 379 destinations across 63 countries. The report incorporates nine risk metrics, including baseline water stress, future water stress, incoming risk likelihood, water intensity litres per occupied room, hotel pipeline % of supply, and tourism contribution as a % of GDP.

Greenview is a boutique sustainability firm that provides hospitality organisations with consulting and advisory services. STR provides premium data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights for the global hospitality industry. Ecolab is a global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that protect people and vital resources.