Water Use by Tourists Outstrips Local Use in Poor Nations, Report Says

The disproportionate use of freshwater by tourists in resorts across the developing world exacerbates the poverty of local residents and in some cases has triggered conflicts, a new report says. In a study of five tourist destinations — including Bali, Zanzibar, and Goa and Kerala in southern India — the UK-based group Tourism Concern found a wide disparity between the amount of water used by resort hotels and how much is available to local residents. In some Zanzibar villages, for instance, tourists use 16 times more water daily per person than locals, with visitors to five-star hotels consuming 3,195 liters per room compared with about 93 liters per local resident, according to the report, which will be released next week. In some cases, frustrated Zanzibar residents have attempted to sabotage water pipelines leading into hotels, forcing the hotels to hire security guards. Two years ago, a cholera outbreak in a Zanzibar village was blamed in part on sewage from hotels contaminating water supplies.