The challenge of ensuring water supply in the Philippines

Creating incentives for communities to help secure water supply is a win-win situation but without a national law in support the challenges might be too great.

‘We keep on extracting water then what do we do as a water utility to give back for our resources?’ asked Euljun Salarda of the Cagayan de Oro Water District in Bukidnon Province, the Philippines about their support for reforestation of the headwaters of the Cagayan de Oro River.

The Water District’s reforestation activities include payments for ecosystem services (PES). PES is a voluntary transaction where a clearly defined ecosystem service — such as water, carbon sequestration, flood reduction or landscape beauty — is bought by a willing buyer from a willing seller.