UN Sustainable Development Goals series: Tools and methods in establishing lake resource vulnerability and assessing pollution abatement technologies towards a water quality improved Laguna Lake
Research & Innovation | November 14, 2023
Laguna Lake is an important water resource and is the largest freshwater body in the Philippines surrounded by dynamic activities from industries, aquaculture to domestic livelihood. These activities mainly contribute to the increasing pollution load of the lake resource. Unrestrained waste discharges and tributary and surface runoffs are ceaseless. Given the domestic and economic activities present in the surrounding area of the lake, Laguna Lake needs to be given more value and water should be treated in order to ensure its sustainability.
As the current state of Laguna Lake is degrading, the project aims to assess its present condition and vulnerability as a water resource in terms of the considered major indices such as hydro geochemical stresses, water alimentation, water availability, environmental risks, sociological security, and political stability. The identification of the main drivers of lake resource degradation and providing scientific policy recommendations on how to address these drivers are included. Understanding the present condition and characteristics of the lake are useful in formulating the step-by-step solution in addressing the pollution problems. Coming up with practical tools and methods that will be a ground for choosing the pollution abatement technology suitable for Laguna Lake to have an improved water quality. More importantly, the potential technologies will be evaluated through cost and benefit analysis and social acceptability.
The project covers seven sampling points in the South Bay of Laguna Lake – Aplaya, Pila; Wawa,Lumban; Bayog Lake, Los Banos; Molawin River, Los Banos; Looc, Calamba; Marinig Cabuyao; and Macabling, Santa Rosa. Water sampling and Diffusive Gradient in Thin Films (DGT) deployment and retrieval were done during the wet and dry events in each year with a 14-day gap between the sampler deployment and retrieval. These samples are currently in the process of sample preparation and analysis in the laboratory to test for trace metals and major ions. Surveys and key informant interviews will be done for information validation, and to evaluate the social acceptability of the potential pollution abatement technologies for Laguna Lake for the purpose of having an improved water quality.
In light of increasing water resource demand and pollution concerns, especially with the status of Laguna Lake, water quality improvement should be sought. This research is working on developing a lake resource vulnerability index and exploring pollution abatement technology options appropriate for Laguna Lake. Major indices being considered are hydrogeochemical stresses, water alimentation, water availability, environmental risks, sociological security, and political stability. In parallel, the criteria in choosing a potential pollution abatement technology are being established counting on the technical efficiency, cost efficiency, and social acceptability. This research serves as a ground for local and international intellectual exchanges with the foreign partners. Graduate students, under the supervision of the experts, are involved in this project. It allowed these young scientists and future leaders to be exposed and be trained in managing real cases and challenging environmental contemporary issues. This also serves as an avenue for them to participate in disseminating the learned strategies and results to different important environmental agencies in disseminating the learned strategies and results to different environmental agencies in the country. The results through technical reports and scientific articles can serve as empirical findings and inputs in water resource management and policy making.
Established lake resource vulnerability index;
Viable options of abatement technology for Laguna Lake;
Equipped and trained graduate students on water quality improvement;
Published scientific research articles; and
Dr. Nicolas Peyraube, Université de Bordeaux, France
Dr. Philippe Le Coustumer, Université de Bordeaux, Bordeaux Imaging Center (BIC), Bordeaux, France
Dr. Jey R S. Ventura, Department of Engineering Science, UP Los Baños