Even though the construction industry uses significantly less water than the textile, food or chemical industries, PORR is aware of its social responsibility in protecting the valuable resource of water. More and more people worldwide are suffering from water shortages and at the same time water consumption is increasing. There is evidence that water consumption increases with the availability and increasing prosperity of the population. Even if the urgency of the issue is not yet so strongly perceived in Europe, extreme weather events in our countries show how strongly long dry periods or heavy precipitation that cannot be absorbed by the soil affect the groundwater level. In addition to the fact that ecological risks can also be closely related to global phenomena such as migration, environmental information is also relevant to performance.
In order to avoid an imminent water crisis in advance, PORR has placed the handling of the raw material water on the agenda of internal resource management. The aim is to promote a sustainable and efficient use of water and at the same time to optimise the Water Footprint.
Use of water in the construction industry
Construction activity and production facilities as well as the demolition of buildings consume more or less large amounts of water. In building construction and civil engineering, water is mainly used as mixing water for fresh concrete. Groundwater and mountain water occur in the course of excavation work or in cavity construction (tunneling). The resulting waste water is discharged into the public sewer network or disposed of properly via collection basins. Depending on location and size, water is supplied to construction sites via water hydrants, wells and surface waters, which are used jointly by all trades working on site. PORR builds or renovates waterworks for raw water extraction or storage and constructs or operates sewage treatment plants for waste water treatment.
The following types of water are used in the PORR.
- Spring water or drinking water
- Surface water
- Ground water or well water
- Mountain water
- Treated water
Our contribution to the conservation of water resources
Together with the Resources Competence Centre and colleagues in the PORR markets, the Water Officer identifies water consumption in the PORR Group. The areas with the highest specific water consumption are then identified and, together with the CRS project team, the environmental network and the research and development department, solutions for reducing water consumption and measures for water recycling are developed. These include e.g.
- Measures to increase water efficiency in the construction and final use of construction projects (including integration of water-saving solutions in projects)
- Replacement of drinking water in the construction process by alternative quality levels
- The most efficient and appropriate way of visualising the different qualities of water and its use
- Water circulation systems for recycling plants or soil washing plants
- The treatment of rainwater
- Treatment of leachate at landfills
- The increased use of grey water
- The constant further development of new ways of promoting water efficiency
Together with his network, the in-house Water Officer regularly evaluates the current status quo of the measures taken and, if necessary, revises the procedures and the Water Policy. In addition, environmental management in accordance with ISO 14001:2015 makes an important contribution to integrating environmental aspects into the relevant corporate decisions, ensuring that they are taken and periodically evaluated.
We will continue to pursue our commitment to sustainability and thereby strengthen the basis for the long-term success of PORR.