Spa Business: Water Depletion & the Spa Industry

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Changing Water Habits

A water shortage has strong economic implications for spas: the more water used in a service, the higher the cost to the owner—increasingly so as prices rise. Spa owners need to take a serious look at all their services, some of which require tens of thousands of gallons to support from a water usage perspective. Then, they need to adopt practices to cut back.

Stusser believes that spas should step away from services like Vichy showers, which can use 200 gallons of water per treatment. “We need to show leadership here instead of saying, ‘This is what the client wants’,” he says. “There are other ways to relax without wasting 200 gallons of water!”

Many spa owners have already put water conservation on their radar, with excellent results. At Modvellum in San Francisco, there is one shared sink for all estheticians. Each employee uses the sink to pour only the water she needs for each treatment. “If water is available in the rooms, they’ll run the faucets forever,” says CEO Rachel Tolve. “This approach makes them think about what they really need to use, and they’re not likely to leave the room mid-service to get more water.” Though Tolve admits that new technicians have to overcome the hurdle of not having water on-demand, they quickly adapt to the system.