The National Water Resources Board under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Philippines is responsible for ensuring the optimum exploitation, utilization, development, conservation and protection of the country's water resource, consistent with the principles of Integrated Water Resource Management.
The country is endowed with rich natural resources, including water, which are essential for the country’s economic development and in meeting it’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Water resources of the Philippines include inland freshwater (rivers, lakes, and groundwater), and marine (bay, coastal, and oceanic waters). Overall, there is sufficient water but not enough in highly populated areas, especially during dry season.
The rapid increase in population, urbanization, and industrialization has adversely affected the quality of water, especially in densely populated areas and regions of industrial and agricultural activities. The discharge of domestic and industrial wastewater and agricultural runoff has caused extensive pollution of the receiving water-bodies.
Access to clean and adequate water remains an acute seasonal problem in urban and coastal areas in the Philippines. The National Capital Region (Metro Manila), Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, and Central Visayas are the four urban critical regions in terms of water quality and quantity.
Just over a third or 36 percent of the country’s river systems are classified as sources of public water supply. Up to 58 percent of groundwater sampled is contaminated with coliform and needs treatment.