The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that the country’s water use efficiency (WUE), or the value added per volume of water used, increased to P200.06 per cubic meter (m³) in 2021, a 4.07% increase compared with P192.25m³ a year ago.

However, this is still lower compared with the WUE logged in 2019 at P217.10m³.

According to the statistics authority’s Water Accounts, the services sector had the largest WUE at P1,231.65m³, up by 3.1% from P1,194.55 in 2020.

Following are the industry sector at P455.29m³ (down 3.5% from P471.65m³), and agriculture sector at P15.37m³ (down 1.6% from P15.62m³).

In terms of gross value added, the services sector led with P11.315 billion in 2021, up from P10.742 billion a year ago.

Following are the industry sector (P5.448 billion in 2021 from P5.015 billion in 2020), and agriculture sector (P1.043 billion from P1.060 billion).

Total water abstraction, or the amount of water removed from source, went up by 1.3% to 221.340 billion cubic meters (bcm) from 218.583 bcm in 2020. Most of the supply came from surface water (216.222 bcm), and the rest from groundwater (5.118 bcm).

Water for own use also picked up in 2021 to 217.825 bcm, up from 1.2% from 215.198 bcm a year ago. This is equivalent to 98.7% of total abstracted water.

The remaining 1.3% is used for distribution, which increased by 1.2% to 2.523 bcm in 2021 from 2.493 bcm in 2020.

Total freshwater water withdrawals in 2021 likewise increased to 89 bcm from 87.477 bcm.

Meanwhile, the level of water stress, or freshwater withdrawal as a proportion of available freshwater resources, increased to 27.2% in 2021 from 26.7% in 2020.

The largest water expense came from households with P56.234 billion in 2021, up from P55.044 billion in 2020.

This is followed by the mining, quarrying, manufacturing, and construction sectors with P44.722 billion in 2021, up from P43.672 billion a year ago; and services with P35.917 billion, up from P35.169 billion for the same period. — Bernadette Therese M. Gadon