Building momentum around water conservation in the construction industry

by | Sep 3, 2022

Sustainability leaders across the industry are being called on to boost their knowledge around how to conserve water on site.

In partnership with the CIF, Irish Water has launched a new guide alongside an autumn series of Water Conservation Clinics to help steer and train businesses in the implementation of sustainable and circular processes.

Sisk, Cairn Homes and the Irish Green Building Council (IGBC) were also involved in developing the new guide for builders and developers, while the in-person clinics will outline ways in which companies can better reuse and conserve water.

“We’re launching our new guide to emphasise the benefits of a circular approach to conserving water in the construction industry,” said Irish Water’s Housing Programme Director Yvonne Harris.

“Through our free Water Conservation Clinics, we will be educating those in industry about simple and innovative ways to conserve water on site. Companies right across Ireland are already making fantastic strides in water conservation and we’re calling on industry to get involved and keep the momentum going.”

The guide, Water Stewardship and Sustainability in Construction Sector, is available to view online at

Pictured at the launch of Irish Water’s new guide for conservation is Pat Barry, CEO, Irish Green Building Council; Yvonne Harris, Housing Programme Director, Irish Water; Alan Cawley, Senior Sustainability Manager, Sisk and Jack Brennan, Environmental Officer, Cairn Homes

As water conservation is a key focus area for the construction industry, many developers and businesses are already embracing these circular ways of working. Irish Water’s Water Stewardship Programme aims to help businesses lower their water use and operating costs while simultaneously helping protect the environment.

Companies such as Sisk Group, BAM Contractors and CBRE have already made strides through completing the programme with Sisk Group saving 10 per cent more water through implementing the programme and various water reduction measures across its sites.

“Conserving water at our sites is key for Sisk and, through working with Irish Water, we’ve been able to conserve 10 per cent more water,” said Alan Cawley, Senior Sustainability Manager at Sisk.

“Through rainwater harvesting, over the past year we’ve also been able to reuse more than approximately 1,000,000 litres of water, for everything from dust suppression and cleaning tools to developing thriving garden areas on our sites.

“We’re aiming to reduce our water intensity by 50 per cent by 2025 over our 2019 baseline,” he added.

To sign up to take part in Irish Water’s Water Conservation Clinics this autumn go to water-conservation-clinic

How to conserve and reuse water

  • Install rainwater harvesting systems for dust suppression, vehicle cleaning, ponds or underground tanks
  • Reuse water from groundwater or surface water drainage to dampen roads in hot weather
  • Use innovative technology such as percussion taps, twin flush/ low water toilets
  • Introduce recirculating systems for cleaning tools and greywater, and use for flushing toilets or irrigating plants
  • Design ground surfaces to slope away from structures and towards garden areas and recharge zones
  • Retain as much vegetation as possible during construction to reduce water evaporation

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