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Water Conservation in Construction: Strategies for Sustainable Water Management


water system

As the world's population grows and climate change causes more extreme weather events, the water demand increases. However, the supply of water is not keeping pace.


The Philippines is currently experiencing the El Niño phenomenon or long dry spell. While it may have become a yearly occurrence in the country, it’s a topic that the government does not consider, which could result in a possible water crisis in the long run.


However, President Ferdinand Jr. directed all government agencies to strictly implement water conservation measures through Memorandum Circular 22, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on June 7 this year. This order includes the Philippine construction industry, which consumes considerable water in its day-to-day operations yet needs adequate water conservation measures.


Drip, Drop, Don’t Waste A Drop!


As the country’s temperatures rise along with the need to conserve water, how can construction consultants in the Philippines ensure that their company conserves water as much as possible?


Construction firms utilize substantial amounts of water for various tasks like cabin use, cleaning, and dust suppression. Implementing water meters allows water usage monitoring while incorporating water-saving devices such as aerated taps and waterless urinals in site offices helps conserve water. Opt for hoses with triggers to ensure efficient water usage, and consider employing harvested rainwater or greywater for cleaning purposes.


Even little changes can make a big difference. Instead of letting water run, clean tools and vehicles with buckets and sweep paths and gutters instead of using a hose. Regularly check taps, pipes, and hoses for slow leaks, as they can waste a lot of water over time. A single dripping faucet or leaking pipe can waste up to 30 liters of water per hour. Considering all the taps and pipes on construction sites adds up to a lot of wasted water.


Moreover, project managers should ensure that everyone involved knows the importance of water conservation. A study by Waidyasekara and De Silva in 2016 on water conservation practices in construction found that the lack of water efficiency in a construction project is mainly because of the lack of priority for water management. Hence, the study’s respondents suggest including water efficiency in managerial policies, educating the workers about water conservation, and including a plan for water savings during construction planning.


Solving the Case of Water Waste in Construction

The recent El Niño phenomenon in the Philippines is a stark reminder of the potential water crisis looming ahead. However, there is hope for a more sustainable future. With the new memorandum released by the government, the government is taking steps towards water conservation, including the vital construction industry.


To play their part, construction project management firms must embrace water-saving strategies. Simple measures like installing water meters and using water-saving devices can make a difference. Harvesting rainwater and fixing slow leaks in taps and pipes are small yet significant steps to conserve water on construction sites.


In the battle against water waste, every drop counts. Construction companies can prioritize water management and foster a culture of responsible water use by educating the entire project team about water conservation and integrating water efficiency into managerial policies.


It’s time to take charge and champion water efficiency in construction! Reach out to us at technical@jcvassociates.ph or visit www.jcvassociates.ph/about-jcva to learn more about why JCVA is the best construction management firm in the Philippines.


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