Water crisis looms in Davao

Washing clothes

Water meters

Davao City is experiencing water crisis.

“We have a water crisis in the city not only in the second district but also in the first district,” said Second District City Councilor Danilo C. Dayanghirang, who is the chairperson of the Council Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.


Although he didn’t present data on the city’s water supply and demand, he cited some indications that confirm his claim.  For one, records from the City Health Office showed the increasing cases of gastrointestinal diseases as one of the city’s top health problems.


Another reason: the increasing number of housing developments.  “When we approve housing subdivisions, the City Council requires a certification from DCWD (Davao City Water District) that they can provide the water supply in the subdivision,” he pointed out.


But the problem lies with DCWD, which issues the required certification.  This paves the way for the approval of the subdivision project which turns out to be detrimental to the needs of the homeowners later on, Dayanghirang said.


To think of, DCWD is touted to be number 1 water utility in the Asia-Pacific Region.  Its mission is: “We commit to supply potable and affordable water 24 hours a day, deliver reliable service, operate efficiency, and take proactive stance in environmental concerns.”


A couple of years back, a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency showed Davao City as one of the nine major cities in the country listed as “water-critical areas.”  The other eight cities are Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, Baguio, Angeles, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga.


Actually, there are several factors that contribute to water shortage.  These include variability in climate, demographic patterns, and unsustainable water-use patterns.  In some urban centers of the country where water is available, 50 percent never reaches the designated consumers due to leakage, theft and poor management.   These identified problems are compounded by the degradation of water resource base.


Davao City, one of biggest cities in the country, is blessed with abundant fresh drinking water, both ground and surface.  According to the city’s website, “Mount Apo serves as the recharge point and the areas at the foot of the mountain contain these large reservoirs, the biggest of which is the Calinan, Toril and Talomo Triangle.”


As everyone now knows, the city’s tap water is considered to be the “best water in the world.”  Its water is tested internationally to be the best quality of clean and safe water in the world. Actually, it is said to be “absolutely perfect.”


A household of five needs at least 120 liters per day to meet basic needs – for drinking, food preparation, cooking and cleaning up, washing and personal hygiene, laundry, house cleaning, according to the Washington-based Worldwatch Institute, a global environmental group.

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