x

Vacation rental water usage addressed | Letter

Do vacation rentals use more water than year-round residents?

No! Says the Eastsound Water Users Association.

Many vacation rental hosts are willing to talk about how ALL users of water might reduce our usage, including residents, visitors such as friends and family, vacation rental guests, hotel guests, campers and boaters.

But there is no evidence to show that vacation rental homes should be targeted because they use more water than any other island home.

In fact, the EWUA Board released a statement on Sept. 22, 2021, stating that “There is no evidence that vacation rentals are using water in excess or inappropriately,” said Tenar Hall, Board member and mathematician. “We have gone through the data extensively and have found no evidence that vacation rentals are having any adverse effects on our water system.” View the release at eastsoundwater.org/board-data-correction.

Things to consider:

• Most vacation rentals host guests less than 360 days a year, thereby using fewer resources than a home with year-round inhabitants.

• Many vacation rentals do not have vegetable gardens and extensive landscaping that require heavy water use for irrigation.

• Under the new 2018 vacation rental regulations, all compliant vacation rental permit holders are required to mention our limited water resources to all guests prior to booking. All guests must agree to these house rules, and the same guidelines must be posted in each rental.

Specifically, the sample SJC “Rules of Conduct” regarding water reads: “Please remember we have limited resources on the island. Do not leave water running when not necessary; while brushing teeth, washing dishes, long showers, etc. Please don’t wash cars or use water unnecessarily. We appreciate your effort to help maintain our limited supply.”

Let’s all work to conserve our water supply, and stop pinning the problem on vacation rentals without data to support the claims.

Jan Scilipoti

Lopez Island