The country’s top economic planning body urged relevant and water-related agencies of the government to adopt the eco-efficient water infrastructure (EEWIN) concept in their proposed projects and activities to better utilize the country’s water resources.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said on Wednesday that EEWIN aims to optimize resources and investments, reduce overall life-cycle costs, and expand the functionality of a project without compromising its intended objectives.
Under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP), the government has adopted the concept in the development of water infrastructure as an overarching strategy toward the pursuit of water security in the country through innovative interventions and technologies, it said.
The agency added that the concept is also an important approach in dealing with the challenges of climate change.
The move is in recognition that even if the Philippines is blessed with abundant water resources, increasing demand and competing use have resulted in water supply shortages, NEDA said.
While the increasing frequency and intensity of rainfall could augment water supply during dry months, excess water has not been taken advantage of and efficiently utilized. Instead, extreme rainfall has resulted in flooding and damages, it said.
“We see the mainstreaming of eco-efficient water infrastructure as a strategy to help enhance our country’s competitiveness by helping increase the efficiency and productivity of our growth sectors,” said NEDA Deputy Director General for Investment Programming Rolando Tungpalan.
The NEDA official said that the agency has been advocating for the development and mainstreaming of EEWIN, which utilizes water resources in an economically-efficient and environment-friendly way, in the planning and project preparation processes such as in the design of infrastructure.
With this, the NEDA Board – Committee on Infrastructure (Infracom) directed all relevant and water-related agencies to mainstream the EEWIN, and tasked NEDA to disseminate the concept’s key principles and standards for reference of concerned agencies.
To comply with this directive and facilitate said mainstreaming, NEDA said it developed appropriate information, education, and communication (IEC) materials on the concept, with the objective of providing implementing agencies, local governments, and other stakeholders with model EEWIN technologies/innovations that can be replicated or adopted in designing their own activities, programs, and projects.
“With this approach, we can ensure the availability of water at this time and for future generations while building on the needed infrastructure to ultimately achieve a high, sustained, and inclusive growth,” Tungpalan explained.
“When applied to infrastructure development, eco-efficiency means being able to do more with less cost and with lower negative effect on the environment,” the NEDA official emphasized.