Impact of Water Resorts Development along Laguna de Bay on Groundwater Resources

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Karen Ann Bianet Jago-on1, Yvette Kirsten Reyes2, Fernando Pascual Siringan3, Ronald Bernas Lloren3, Maria Ines Rosana Dacanay Balangue4, Maria Angelica Z Pena4 and Makoto Taniguchi5, (1)University of the Philippines, Quezon City, Philippines, (2)School of Urban and Regional Planning, University of the Philippines, Quezon City, Philippines, (3)Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines, Metro Manila, Philippines, (4)National Institute of Geological Sciences, University of the Philippines, Quezon City, Philippines, (5)RIHN Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan
Rapid urbanization and land use changes in areas along Laguna de Bay, one of the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, have resulted in increased economic activities and demand for groundwater resources from households, commerce and industries. One significant activity that can affect groundwater is the development of the water resorts industry, which includes hot springs spas. This study aims to determine the impact of the proliferation of these water resorts in Calamba and Los Banos, urban areas located at the southern coast of the lake on the groundwater as a resource. Calamba, being the “Hot Spring Capital of the Philippines”, presently has more than 300 resorts, while Los Banos has at least 38 resorts. Results from an initial survey of resorts show that the swimming pools are drained/ changed on an average of 2-3 times a week or even daily during peak periods of tourist arrivals. This indicates a large demand on the groundwater. Monitoring of actual groundwater extraction is a challenge however, as most of these resorts operate without water use permits. The unrestrained exploitation of groundwater has resulted to drying up of older wells and decrease in hot spring water temperature. It is necessary to strengthen implementation of laws and policies, and enhance partnerships among government, private sector groups, civil society and communities to promote groundwater sustainability.