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Waterpark sustainability in action

The WWA’s Aleatha Ezra showcases some sustainability initiatives taking place around the world

Opinion
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Sustainability is becoming a hot topic for waterpark designers, builders and operators. Changing weather patterns, extended periods of drought, evolving consumer sentiment – all of these factors are making the implementation of sustainable best practices in waterpark design, operation and maintenance a higher priority within our industry.

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To help our members learn more about this topic, the World Waterpark Association (WWA) hosted a webinar in February. This was called Sustainability Is More Than A Buzz Word–Make It Real In Your Waterpark.

During this hour-long program, Franceen Gonzales, chief experience officer for WhiteWater, shared some great ways that parks can address sustainability including park design, equipment selection, maintenance practices and corporate initiatives.

Ways to ensure sustainability in waterparks

For those of you who missed Gonzales’ discussion but are seeking ways to up your sustainability game, you might start by taking a look at what the following waterpark brands are doing to make sustainability a part of their business philosophy:

Waterbom Bali, Bali, Indonesia

Waterbom Bali has been leading the way in environmental responsibility for years. It has implemented many initiatives to improve the sustainability of its operations.

girl on whitewater raft slide waterpark sustainability

Because of these efforts, Waterbom is the first tourism operation in Bali to officially become carbon neutral. Sustainability initiatives at this waterpark include participating in the 1,000 Bamboo Villages program and installing extensive drainage systems to act as a giant recharge well – channelling rain back into the water table instead of it washing away.

Waterbom also implemented park-wide waste separation to allow recycling and composting. This reduced the level of waste from the park ending up in landfill by 20 percent. These are just a few ways that Waterbom Bali is positively impacting its local environment. You can learn more about its sustainability programmes here.

Center Parcs, UK and Ireland

After meeting its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent two years early in 2018, Center Parcs set a new goal of reducing carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

As a brand, it is focusing on 6 areas. These are carbon emissions, renewable energy, energy use, sustainable travel, water use and waste reduction and recycling. Changes include switching its fleet to electric or hybrid vehicles, reducing and removing all single-use plastics throughout the resorts and installing more rainwater and greywater harvesting systems across the villages.

Isle of Wight Council: Securing a new all-weather attraction 'a priority'

These are just a few examples of what the company is doing. To learn more about Center Parc’s sustainability targets for its waterparks and beyond, visit this link.  

Wet’n’Wild Hawaii, Oahu, Hawaii, US

Looking for ways to contribute to Hawaii’s goal to be 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2040, Wet’n’Wild Hawaii installed solar carports that became operational in 2021. Now, Wet’n’Wild Hawaii is the state’s first-ever 100 percent solar-powered attraction thanks to its 1.3 megawatts (MW) solar system.

I2,958 high-efficiency 440-watt solar panels fully power the park’s 26 attractions and facilities during normal operations.

Sustainability in waterparks: communication is key

Each of the above is an example of a business doing something noteworthy.

Not only are they implementing programs, but they are also talking about it with their guests and followers. Communicating about your park’s sustainability efforts is vital to this process. It is easy for consumers to assume that waterparks are water-wasters, but that is a misperception that needs to be addressed.

children-water-park waterpark sustainability

Thanks to advancements in regenerative media filtration systems and remote and mobile monitoring systems, operators are able to provide guests with cleaner water using less energy. They can also find and eliminate leaks and other anomalies before they contribute to greater water loss.

In addition, rides are being designed to require less water, prevent excessive splash-out and recirculate more water before it leaves the slide path. Outdoor facilities are installing shade structures in more strategic places. This prevents loss of water through evaporation and parks are using natural landscaping that thrives with less irrigation.

So many things are happening around sustainability within the waterpark industry. All industries must deal with the question of how to become more sustainable. Our industry has an opportunity to implement changes that can reduce our impact on the environment. And we can do this while still delivering the best, safest water leisure entertainment possible.

speakers at greenloop 22 sustainability in visitor attractions conference april 19 to 20

If you want to find out more about sustainability in attractions, why not sign up for greenloop 2022? Taking place on 19 & 20 April, this is the only sustainability conference specifically for the industry. It will feature speakers from leading museums, theme parks, zoos, aquariums and more.

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Aleatha Ezra WWA

Aleatha Ezra

Aleatha Ezra is the director of park member development for the World Waterpark Association, the world’s leading water leisure trade association serving park and supplier members in more than 40 countries. In her role, she is the editor of World Waterpark Magazine and provides a variety of support services to park owners, operators and developers.

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