Davao City is surrounded by eight watersheds. These watersheds are natural reservoirs for the pristine potable water that has been certified as one of the world’s cleanest drinking water.
The Talomo-Lipadas Watershed located in Toril District is the city’s current source of drinking water. However, the Davao City Water District estimates that this supply will not be sufficient for Dabawenyos by 2015. This is why it is looking at the adjacent Panigan-Tamugan Watershed located in Baguio District as the future source of drinking water.
However, banana and pineapple plantations have assaulted the slopes of Davao City’s mountains, cutting down trees and converting forest land into monocrop plantations. Their non-compliance of existing national and local policies regarding the implementation of a 50-meter buffer zone has resulted in the further soil erosion and floodings in the lowlands. Rampant use of pesticides through aerial or boom spraying has also further heightened the risk of contaminating local aquifers and water tables.
Davao’s Watershed Management Council (WMC) is a multi-sectoral government body tasked with managing the resources of the watersheds. Currently, it is implementing a delineation project that will identify critical areas of the watershed for conservation and protection. IDIS is also partnering with the WMC to implement a pilot rainforestation project that will rehabilitate riverbanks of five upland barangays located in the Panigan-Tamugan area.