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Davao City water supply project contractor assures protection of watershed

DAVAO CITY (PIA) -- The Apo Agua Infrastructura, the builder and operator of the Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project, is working to protect the critical Tamugan-Panigan watershed.

May Che Capili, External Relations Officer, said they are embarking on a collaborative effort with different stakeholders to ensure the sustainability of the water source and also the quality of the water from the Tamugan River, which is the source of the Bulk Water Supply System.

“We have ongoing tree-growing activities; may partnership ta with DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) and Fardeco, Multipurpose Cooperative sa Barangay Cadalian naa ta commitment didto na 200 hectares (We have a partnership with the DENR and Fardeco Multipurpose Cooperative in Barangay Cadalian. We have a commitment of 200 hectares),” Capili said.

They have conducted nursery development, and onNovember 24, 2023,  Apo Agua commenced tree planting activities. They have also started quarterly monitoring of the area.

“We are not just into tree planting, but we want to ensure the trees grow both the endemic and native trees in the area, and at the same time, we have a livelihood component,” Capili said.

An important component of watershed conservation is providing livelihood to the community, and through the project, they have embarked on organic farming and cacao development, as Davao City’s District Three is known for cacao growing.

The Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project by Apo Agua Infrastructura

There is also a partnership with the Davao City Water District for a 50-hectare conservation forest onMt. Tipolog. In its fifth year of the partnership, they have planted 33,000 endemic and fruit trees. In the conservation project, they are joined by the Obu Manuvu farmers in the area.

They also have other projects with stakeholders within the watershed, especially the Bantay Bukid, which are forest guard volunteers helping protect and preserve the city’s watershed and remaining forests.

“This is not just our effort but a collective effort to take care of the environment,” Capili said of their partnerships with the community and the different sectors.


Aside from deforestation and the conversion of these areas into mono-crop plantations, other stakeholders, such as the environmental non-government organization Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDID), noticed potential threats such as the presence of several inland resorts along the river.

“Nagadaghan ang mga inland resorts, either mga private and at the same time there are community-based. Isa kana sa gi-adtuan sa watershed management council to investigate on the matter (The number of inland resorts is increasing; they are either privately-owned or community-based. The watershed management council went to the area to investigate on the matter),” Capili said.

She said they are focused on conservation efforts in the upstream communities and riverbank rehabilitation, working hand in hand with barangays Tambobong, Tawantawan, Wines, Gumalang, and Tamugan, and also with the Bantay Bukid clusters.

Capili called on the communities and the stakeholders to help care for and nurture the environment to ensure the viability of the Tamugan River as a source of clean, safe drinking water for the city.

The P12-billion Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project started pumping in water into the Davao City Water District on December 1, 2023.  

JC Duhaylungsod, DCWD spokesperson, said there was a significant increase in the daily water supply availability that the DCWD can provide to customers.

“Consequently, we have also observed an increase in water supply availability in terms of the number of hours as well as pressure, especially in areas where before they experienced low water pressure or no water during peak hours of water usage. Most of these areas are in District 2,” Duhaylungsod said.  (RGA/PIA Davao)

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Rudolph Ian Alama

Regional Editor

Region 11

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