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Community-Managed Water Supply System and Rainwater Harvesting Facility

Submitted by Jose Arianne Go... 13th October 2020 14:50


The community of Barangay San Julian, located in the center of the Municipality of Janiuay, Iloilo regularly experiences severe water scarcity for six straight months during the dry season. The town’s water supply company cannot adequately provide the water needs of the community because the underground water sources have been overused and are now insufficient to supply the residents. The lack of reliable water supply affects the development of the community and causes inconvenience, sanitation problems and health risks for its residents.   Climate change will worsen the community’s water scarcity problem. Mid-range projections from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) indicate rainfall will increase during the rainy months of December to May, and decrease from September to November. This increased rainfall variability will potentially affect agriculture and irrigation, water supplies and water table replenishment in the municipality.

Municipality of Janiuay, Iloilo faces flooding during rainy seasons and severe water shortage during the dry season. Photo Credit: PRRM

This project page presents the project “Community-Managed Water Supply System and Rain-Water Harvesting Facility”, which aims to strengthen community resilience to water scarcity through enhanced water security


The community-led project (CLP) places urban poor communities as active and informed participants at the centre of the process of resilience planning, from assessment to implementationand gives them a role in the maintenance of community-led projectsThrough the Community Resilience Planning (CRP) process, people from poor and vulnerable groups work together with other stakeholders from government and the private sector to collect and analyse data about how hazards impact vulnerable groups and livelihoods and design and agree resilience solutions.  The Community Resilience Planning process requires strong social mobilization, communication and engagement with all stakeholders. It also requires the creation of the Community Stakeholder Group (CSG), an institutional and multi-sectoral mechanism for transparent and effective information sharing, decision-making and implementation of community decisions and actions. 

Source: Project Methodology, ADB RETA 9329


Community-Led Resilience Project

Through the CRP process, community members decided to take collective action to address the problem of water scarcity and developed a project called “Community-Managed Water Supply System and Rain-Water Harvesting Facility”. The project aims to strengthen community resilience to water scarcity through enhanced water securityThe project will construct and maintain a community-managed water system and community rainwater harvesting facility.  The water supply system will draw water from a reliable underground water source, pump it to an over-head storage tankprocess the water via a filtration facility and distribute the water to households via a community-wide pipe system.  The project will also plant water-retaining trees within and on hills around the watershed to help replenish groundwater.  

Community members plan to set up a community-managed water supply system. Photo Credit: PRRM


The community rainwater harvesting system will collect rainwater through a network of catchments and feeder roofs and will store the water in an underground cistern for future use.   The cistern is made of several chambers for leaching and sludge settlement, filtration, and clean water storage.   Clean water will be pumped out of the cistern into an over-head tank, where it will be chlorinated before being distributed to households via gravity. The rainwater harvesting system will provide additional water storage to augment the community’s existing water supply. It will help reduce groundwater extraction and depletion and create more time for groundwater to be sustainably recharged. The rainwater will be used for domestic purposes such as cleaning, washing, and flushing of toiletsespecially during periods of drought and disasters, and when the water supply is disrupted by power outages  

Community Rainwater Harvesting Facility. The project design was developed by the Feasibility Study Team in collaboration and consultation with the Community Stakeholder Group. Photo Credit: PRRM 

Gender and Social Inclusion

To achieve the effective management of water in water scarce areas such as Janiuay, a gender lens needs to be applied.  A gender analysis will reveal the gender norms that determine who has access to water, and who can use water at the household level and for what purposes. Distributing water via water distribution lines can reduce the burden of women’s unpaid work dedicated to fetching water. However, if women are to truly benefit, it is important that the time saved is not allocated to other unpaid household duties. Whilst re-using wastewater is good for water management, it should be carried out in a way that also reduces the burden of unpaid household work for women.

Issues and Challenges

The implementation of the community-based water supply system encountered several challenges including limited water supply sources in the area and the over-use of groundwater, limited space for setting up the rainwater harvesting facility, and lack of technical and operational capacity to manage and maintain the water supply system and the rainwater harvesting facility within the communityThe project will enhance the capacities of the community stakeholder group (CSG) which will support the ongoing maintenance of the water supply systemThe project will also develop livelihood opportunities that will support the ongoing sustainability of the water system. The CSG, with assistance from the project’s community resilience officer (CRO) will seek to secure institutional local government funding through the municipality’s annual budget to support part, or all of the ongoing operational and maintenance costs. 

Expected Results and Impact of the Project

A community-based water cooperative and the barangay will be responsible for the management and operation of the water supply system and the rainwater harvesting facility. The project will provide the community with alternative, reliable and continuous water for drinking, domestic use, economic activities and livelihoods and additional co-benefits such as preparing for drought, fire and other disasters which are expected to increase in frequency and severity in the future, due to the impacts of climate change.  

Overhead Main Tank, Water Coop Office with Pump House, Vicinity Map. The project design was developed by the Feasibility Study Team in collaboration and consultation with the Community Stakeholder Group. Photo Credit: PRRM 

The project is expected to create significant social, environmental, financial and economic benefits for the Barangay San Julian community. Aside from the expected financial contributions of the municipality, the water tariffs are expected to generate monthly revenues that can financially support the operation of the water systemThe profits will be used for system upkeep and upgrading, capital improvements, maintenance and replacement of equipment and parts such as pumpsand motors. 

Further Resources