Section 5 of RA 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 tasked the DENR in coordination with the National Water Resources Board to designate certain areas as water quality management areas (WQMA) using appropriate physiographic units such as watershed, river basins or water resources regions.


The objective of the WQMA is to protect, thru stakeholders collaboration, the water body and its tributaries by keeping their water quality within the Water Quality Guidelines or Criteria conforming to the water body’s classification (e.g., Class C or Class SC) or even improve the quality to higher classification (e.g., from C to B or SC to SB).  A WQMA Action Plan will be prepared in order to address water quality issues and problems in the area and later result to the improvement or better water quality of the said water body.

Water Quality Management Area Map as of August 1, 2018



Said management area shall be governed by a governing board composed of representatives of mayors and governors of member LGUs, and representatives of relevant national government agencies, duly registered nongovernmental organization, water utility sector, and business sector. The DENR representative through the EMB shall chair the governing board. In the case of the LGUs with memberships on more than one (1) management board, the LGU shall designate only one (1) single representative for all the management areas where it is a member.

As of August 1, 2018, there are thirty-four (37) officially- designated WQMAs, including the areas within the jurisdiction of LLDA which was designated as one management area by virtue of the Clean Water Act.