WATER use efficiency (WUE), measured in terms of value added per volume of water used, rose 5.5% in 2022, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.
In a report, the PSA said WUE rose to P211.04 per cubic meter from the P200.09 a year earlier.
“The services sector continued to account for the highest WUE at P1,300.73 per cubic meter, followed by the industry and agriculture sectors with WUE of P426.85 per cubic meter and P15.49 per cubic meter, respectively,” the PSA said.
Michael L. Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., noted the bigger productivity and value added generated by the services sector, accounting for around 60% of gross domestic product.
“This also reflected the further reopening of the economy towards greater normalcy with no more large lockdowns since 2022… and other economic activities, all of which boosted the country’s water use efficiency,” he said in a Viber message.
Freshwater withdrawals in 2022 increased to 91 billion cubic meters (bcm) from 89 bcm in 2021. The indicator refers to the volume of fresh water extracted from source, such as rivers and lakes, for agriculture, industry, and services.
Water abstraction, or the amount of water removed from source either permanently or temporarily, was 226 bcm, up 2.1%. Most of the supply came from surface water (98%), and the remaining from groundwater.
Meanwhile, the level of water stress, or freshwater withdrawal as a portion of available freshwater resources, rose to 27.8% in 2022 from 27.2% previously.
“The annual level of water stress consistently fell within the low-level classification range of 25 to 50%,” the PSA said.
The largest water expense was incurred by households, amounting to P59.37 billion in 2022, against P56.10 billion a year earlier.
This was followed by mining and quarrying, manufacturing and construction with P47.12 billion, against P44.9 billion in 2021; and services at P38.32 billion, up from P35.90 billion a year earlier.
The Water Accounts of the Philippines are compiled annually by the Environment and Natural Resources Accounts Division.
The supply and use of water resources are measured in accordance with the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting 2012 Central Framework, the international statistical standard. It is also aligned with the System of National Accounts, according to the PSA. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera