Westport, Co. Mayo, has been chosen by Irish Water to pilot the new ‘Sustainable Water Towns Initiative’.

The project is in partnership with business network Chambers Ireland. The initiative is being rolled out by Irish Water following the launch of the ‘Certified Water Stewardship Programme’ last month.

The aim of the project is to support businesses to drive down water consumption, Irish Water says.

As part of the pilot, members of Westport Chamber (a member of Chambers Ireland) have taken a ‘water conservation pledge’ ahead of a ‘masterclass on water conservation for businesses’ being delivered by Irish Water this week.

“The aim of the masterclass is to offer water conservation tips for Westport’s thriving industry and diverse range of businesses and outline how they can avail of free online training and new ‘green credentials’,” said Christine Crawford, business and communications lead with Irish Water.

She added: “Since we announced the pilot, businesses in Westport have been quick to take the water conservation pledge which gives a clear demonstration of Westport Chamber’s growing reputation and leadership on climate action and water stewardship.”

One of the first businesses in the area to take the ‘pledge’ was Westport Woods Hotel. The hotel has previously won a number of awards for sustainability.

Geraldine Horkan, the CEO of Westport Chamber, said: “Westport businesses have proven they are innovative and, when it comes to water conservation, we will be the leaders.”

The initiative will see Irish Water provide training to business owners to lower water consumption and reduce costs.

Changes such as identifying water waste on site; setting a baseline for water use; raising awareness among staff and customers; or upgrading to water efficient devices are cited as potential ways to save water.

The initiative is based on a three-step programme which begins with the water conservation pledge, followed by online conservation training. After that, businesses can become a ‘certified water steward’.

Businesses can find out more about the project on the Irish Water website.