28/06/2008In Xel-Ha, 25,355 gallons are recycled daily for irrigation

An average 25,355 gallons of water a day are reused for the watering of vegetation in Xel-Ha, after efficient treatment with automated aerobic systems. This is an important part of the Environmental Management System that controls the operation of this 200-plus acre natural reserve, declared Ricardo Saenz, Sustainable Development manager for one of Mexico’s thirteen Natural Wonders.

When questioned about how he applies the sustainable administration in Xel-Ha, during the World Environment Day context, Ricardo Saenz explained how, regarding the recycling of waste waters, the company has established a system of three septic tanks since 1995, which was upgraded to 5 water-treating plants in 2000, with automated aerobic systems that constantly maintain quality standards for these treated waters, within the norms currently in use.

He added that during the busiest seasons of the year, treatment for water is increased to 34.334,90 gallons a day, which are similarly used for irrigation. He highlighted that there are currently strategies underway to help reduce the amount of water consumed per visitor, which has already been decreased over 50% in the past two years: from the 66,03 gallons per visitor in 2005, to 47,28 gallons in 2006, and 29,84 gallons in 2007.

The Sustainable Development manager of Xel-Ha explained how the operation of this tourist attraction remains closely adhered to the standards of the Environmental Management System that was instituted in the year 2006.

“The first step consisted in identifying and documenting the aspects derived from operation that relate as positive and negative factors towards the environment. Taking these aspects as a starting point, 13 procedures were documented as a way to correct the performance according to the EMS, as well as 10 Environmental Management Programs that encircle environmental activities for their control and constant improvement.”

The Environmental Management Programs are the following: Integral Water Management, Electric Power, Preservation of Natural Resources, Solid Waste Management, Hazardous Waste Management, Environmental Impact, Non-Biodegradable Sunscreens, Management of Macaws, Use of Volatile Gas, and Contingencies.

He also commented on Xel-Ha’s promoting tourism in a natural area, while striving to preserve this area for future generations.