Davao's first water supply system was established in 1921 which was then known as the Sales Waterworks System. The said communal system tapped Malagos Creek and laid 28 kilometers of pipelines to serve some 10,000 users at the Davao poblacion area.
After the Second World War, Davao City's water demand increased proportionately to the growing population such that Ma-a spring was developed to increase volume and meet the demand. By 1955, a law enacted by Congress placed all municipal waterworks under the jurisdiction of the National Waterworks and Sewerage Administration (NAWASA). During this period better water facilities were constructed.
In the 1960s, the local governments gained control over the waterworks. Davao City paid Php300,000 to the three Davao provinces to gain absolute ownership of the water system, which became known as the Davao Metropolitan Waterworks.
In 1973, Davao City Water District (DCWD) was created and began serving Davao City making it one of the first water districts to operate in the country by virtue of Presidential Decree 198 or the Provincial Water Utilities Act of 1973. Operating as a quasi-public corporation or a semi-government status, DCWD implemented its projects by stages.
From 1975 to 1979, the Phase I Project was undertaken. Several facilities were constructed including production wells, sump and reservoir, which form part of DCWD's biggest water supply system today - Dumoy. Sometime in 1986 and 1988, the Phase II Project (Stages I and II) was carried out. After the completion of said stages, more production wells, booster pumps, and transmission and distribution lines were in place, including one additional sump and the Ma-a tunnel.
In 1992, the Supreme Court declared with finality that all water districts in the country are government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs). Despite this ruling, DCWD forged ahead with its plans to further improve the city's water system. Thus, production wells, reservoirs, and transmission and distribution lines, altogether forming a water supply system, multiplied and provided water service to over 100,000 service connections. This earned DCWD the coveted "Most Outstanding Water District" award for the Very Large Category for two consecutive years, 1995 and 1996. The same feat was repeated in 2001 and 2002 after the partial completion of the Phase III Project, which was started in 2000.
Today, DCWD continuously upgrades and finds resources, whether underground or surface water, to ensure that abundant and only quality water supply will flow out of the taps of Davao City for many more years ahead.