Ski resorts may seem clean with their white slopes and first class accommodations. However this is far from the case. The ski industry is inherently dirty due to the various services offered. One of the largest areas needing improvement is the amount of water required to run a ski resort. Now it’s clear that the hospitality side of ski areas consumes large amounts of water. However a significant consumer is snowmaking.
Snowmaking is water intensive because well, it takes water, shoots it out at fast speeds in order to freeze it. The amount of water necessary is immense. I was thinking about this the other day and a great way to reduce the water used by snow making is pretty simple. Ski areas could create water collection lakes at various place at the base of the mountain. The resorts could use this water in the early and late season when snow is lacking. Then, when the snow melts in the spring, it will conveniently run downhill into the newly created lakes. This won’t do much for the visitor experience, unless a trail system was created and the lakes were beautified. However, the immediate water and cost saving would be immense. The only new cost associated with creating the lakes would be building the retaining wall. While the savings would include pumping costs purchasing and pumping the water to the mountain. This seems like an oblivious solution to an already water deficit state.