National park concessioner Xanterra Parks & Resorts has implemented several water-conservation initiatives at its properties as part of its goal to reduce water use by 25 percent from 2003 levels by 2015.
In Yellowstone National Park where the company operates nine lodges along with restaurants, stores and activities, Xanterra installed $2 million worth of energy-efficient laundry equipment, including a continuous batch washing system that saves more than 3,000 gallons of water daily.
In response to one of the driest years on record in Crater Lake National Park and other parts of the Pacific Northwest, Xanterra developed a program called “Conserve for Crater,” with a goal to reduce consumption by 25 percent. Examples of initiatives at Crater Lake Lodge and Mazama Village include the installation of low-flow fixtures, no-irrigation landscaping and encouraging the reuse of sheets and towels.
The water used at Furnace Creek Resort in California’s Death Valley National Park is mountain runoff entering the valley through natural springs and captured in a gravity-feed system. The water is first used at the Inn at Furnace Creek to water the gardens and supply the swimming pool (pictured), which was designed with a flow-through system that minimizes chemical use. That water then continues downhill to the Ranch at Furnace Creek where it fills the ponds on the golf course, providing habitat for local and migratory wildlife. The water in the ponds then irrigates the golf course.
At its six lodges and other operations near Grand Canyon National Park, Xanterra uses some 60,000 gallons per year of reclaimed water for non-potable purposes in its kennels, employee bathrooms and landscape irrigation.
At Grand Canyon Railway in Williams, Ariz., Xanterra has reduced water consumption by 63.6 percent between 2008 and 2012 by harvesting 169,000 gallons of monsoon rain water and snow melt to reuse as boiler water for its steam train.
Xanterra has also joined a coalition of some 900 businesses known as “Protect the Flows” to promote innovative water policy to protect the Colorado River.
Xanterra has also installed solar photovoltaic systems at several its properties. Since 2008, A 1 MW PV system at Furnace Creek Resort has produced more than 10 million kWh and met the company’s goal of reducing purchased electricity by 30 percent.