Water management has reached a crucial moment due to the effects of climate change, urgently requiring a new paradigm to ensure it is sustainably managed.
MAGNUM is the new project by Meliá Hotels International, Cetaqua, IDP and Aquatec, which aims to develop a pilot tool capable of addressing the greatest challenges in sustainable water management in the tourism sector. It will promote responsible water consumption through the combination of the latest advances in digitisation, water footprint and behavioural sciences.
This innovation project, due to run until 2025, is financed with NextGen funds in line with the RETOS programme, which is aimed at public-private partnership initiatives to advance scientific knowledge. The project will develop a digital twin of the water infrastructure for the two Meliá hotels, creating a virtual replica of the hotel for remote, real-time data monitoring and analysis.
The tool, known as MAGNUM Digital Twin, will allow us to tackle the global challenge of monitoring the impact of the tourism sector on the environment and water in particular. Thus MAGNUM will improve the efficiency of Meliá hotels in monitoring water consumption and identifying anomalies and areas for improvement for sustainable water use in hotel infrastructures.
The project will begin by implementing the solution and digitising the water system at two of its flagship hotels, Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora (Isora, Tenerife) and Meliá Palma Marina (Palma de Mallorca). After on-site testing, it will be deployed in the rest of the Group’s hotels.
The system provides daily views of the hotels’ water footprint, differentiating between the direct footprint (impacts related to the hotel’s direct activities) and indirect footprint (impacts of the products and services acquired by the hotel), and between departments. This innovation will provide a water footprint calculation in the most automatic way possible and in the greatest possible detail, solving the challenge of continuously monitoring the environmental impact.
The digital twin will also help in making operational decisions to maximise water efficiency, through early detection of anomalies and simulating scenarios to obtain maximum water savings. In addition, segmenting the water footprint by department means specific awareness campaigns can be carried out among hotel employees where there is the greatest potential for improvement, using behavioural science-based methods.
Finally, actions involving Meliá customers in looking after water are also planned, combining digital and behavioural tools and raising awareness about the importance of water.
“The partnership with Meliá to continue advancing RDI in water sustainability, in this case, in the tourism sector, allows us to create new digital solutions that integrate highly valuable knowledge of the water and hospitality sectors. It is a clear demonstration of Certaqua’s applied research, which focusses on applied solutions that provide differential value to users and society by improving water management”, said Carlos Montero, Cetaqua CEO.
Meliá, a leading hotel chain in the tourism sector, seeks to strengthen its focus on efficient water management and continue leading the way towards sustainability. “It is our responsibility to explore formulas for sustainable innovation to reduce the environmental impact of our operations and contribute to conserving water, a scarce resource in many of the destinations where we are present. This pilot project is part of this goal, with leading partners in technology and innovation to accompany us”.
The partnership between Meliá, Aquatec, IDP and Cetaqua reinforces the importance of cooperation in addressing current environmental challenges.