HomeHotel25,000-liter tanker trucks will carry seawater to camping pools

25,000-liter tanker trucks will carry seawater to camping pools

Catalonia has declared this week an emergency situation due to drought in the provinces of Barcelona and Girona, which affects 202 municipalities. Has been The total or partial filling of hotel and campsite pools is prohibited. The tourism sector has been preparing for this scenario for some time, especially the Catalan campsites. This type of accommodation welcomed four million clients last year, who made 20 million overnight stays. Miquel Gotanegrapresident of the Catalan Camping Federation, explains to HOSTELTUR how they face this new crisis. One of the solutions will be to fill the campsite pools with sea water, which will be transported – from marinas – in 25,000-liter tanker trucks.

Miquel Gotanegra, president of the Catalan Camping Federation. Source: Catalan Camping Federation.

The Catalan government has just declared an emergency situation due to drought. Have the campsites already been preparing for this scenario?

It is not a situation that has caught us by surprise. For almost a year we have been preparing for this scenario, looking for solutions to be able to maintain our activity as normally as possible. Let’s think that the camping sector in Catalonia has 20,000 jobs and close to 20 million overnight stays. That is, camping represents close to 30% of all tourist overnight stays in Catalonia.

And what situation are the campsites in now after the drought emergency declaration?

A very important part of our tourism product, of the experience we offer, is the water area. We can’t be without her. For this reason we have had to come up with a series of solutions, for example filling the campsite pools with sea water.

How will they do it?

At this time we are already working with companies that are going to supply us with 25,000 liter tanks and that will be able to reach all the campsites located in the municipalities affected by the drought emergency declaration. They will be stainless steel tanks, of the same type used to transport food liquids.

Where will the sea water be extracted from?

We are in talks with marinas, from where we can collect the water.

But all this operation will have some costs…

Yes, of course, but for the same reason it is also cheaper than having to produce artificial snow. Well, at this moment we have to artificially bring water to the campsites. We will try to seek aid and subsidies for this operation, although right now our priority is to be prepared and have all the necessary infrastructure to be able to face this emergency. The fundamental thing now is to be able to start the season as normally as possible.

Will pool equipment – pumps, valves, etc. – be able to work well with salt water?

An important part of the installations are made with plastic pipes, as are the valves. On the other hand, there are many swimming pools that already work with salt water, although it is water that has 10 grams of salt per liter, while sea water has 36 grams of salt per liter. And we also have to establish how to recycle it, because seawater with 36 grams of salt per liter cannot be poured directly into the sanitation network. We are studying all of this. But hey, we are entrepreneurs and we have already been through COVID.

Of course, the pandemic was a master’s degree in crisis management for tourism companies…

Well yes. For us, this situation is yet another crisis that we must face. And of course the Catalan Camping Federation is working intensely to manage this crisis and to accompany the camping sector to overcome this crisis. That is why we are working with technicians, looking for companies that can collaborate with us, etc.

So the seawater brought in vats will serve to counteract the losses due to evaporation from the pools?

Yes, practically all the swimming pools at the campsites in Catalonia are full right now. Seawater will serve to counteract evaporation and to clean the filters. It will be necessary to put a 25,000 or 30,000 liter tank in the campsites, which will be refilled, and which will make it possible for the pool to be maintained.

And what water will the outdoor showers in the pools use?

Those outdoor showers can be closed, it won’t be a problem. In addition, the toilet/bathroom area of ​​the campsites is located next to the swimming pools, where there are showers that can be used by users. The fundamental thing is to be able to maintain the quality of the experience and keep the pools in operation.

The campsites have large green areas, gardens, etc., which require irrigation. How will this be resolved?

At this moment the campsites are already working a lot with reused water. There are even campsites that have their own purification stations that reuse water for these uses. You cannot use this reused water for sprinkler irrigation, but you can use the purified water for drop-by-drop irrigation.

What water will clients use in their bungalows, changing rooms and bathrooms?

The same water as any user. Currently, in the Catalan camping sector, a customer consumes the same amount of water as a resident. For example, the most efficient campsites, including swimming pools, are consuming 140 liters per person per day. In the current emergency phase that has now been decreed, the Generalitat has set the maximum consumption threshold at 200 liters per person per day, in a next phase it would drop to 180 liters and then to 160 liters.

But this consumption of 140 liters per person per day will be in the most efficient campsites, it will not be the average…

According to our latest studies, all Catalan campsites are below 200 liters per day.

How do you think this crisis will affect the image of Catalan campsites in European source markets?

It will not affect

I see you very convinced…

It will not affect our image because the Catalan camping sector is very powerful, very prepared and will do everything possible so that tourists enjoy extraordinary holidays and experiences. With the solutions and improvements we are implementing, there is plenty of room to get through the summer of 2024. It is a shame that the administrations have not done the same.

What does it mean?

Everyone is talking about campsite swimming pools now, but they forget about the real problem. Nobody is talking about the 40% losses of water in the supply network in many municipalities.

How do you hope to counteract the messages that reach a French or German family when they hear or read “Drought in Catalonia affects tourism: they prohibit filling swimming pools”?

Those headlines certainly don’t help. We are also working on that front, with a very powerful communication team, constantly attending to national and international newspapers and television stations. In addition, we plan to carry out a campaign to reinforce the image of normality in the camping sector.

And what attitude do you expect to find among customers, who enjoy it, but who are also responsible with their water consumption?

The camping customer is already very responsible. He likes to enjoy experiences in nature. He is very respectful and is clear about the aspects related to sustainability. Also, keep in mind that the first EMAS certificate for campsites was awarded in 2000. In other words, the camping sector has been working on sustainability projects for almost a quarter of a century.

Related news:
– Tourism of the 21st century in the face of the climate emergency
– Drought emergency: restrictions will be decreed in Catalonia
– Catalonia will prohibit filling swimming pools in hotels and campsites due to the drought

Source: Hosteltur



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