An ecosystem assessment of the Laguna Lake Basin in the Philippines outlines the reasons for and methods of a lake

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basin approach to ecosystem service analysis.  While this lake basin is in seemingly worse condition than Lake Champlain, and faces different problems, this assessment still provides similarities and lessons.  One major difference between the Laguna Lake and Lake Champlain is that Laguna Lake does not currently provide essential domestic water supplies, while Lake Champlain does (Lasco, 21).  However, due to increasing population demands, this may change, and the Laguna Lake basin is not currently ready to provide that kind of service.

This assessment found that one of the biggest problems facing the lake and lake water quality comes from phosphorus runoff.  Large algal blooms have been prevalent on the lake, contributing to decreased water quality and fish death (Lasco, 15).  Many of the threats to water quality and supply in the lake come from domestic and industrial sources in the tributaries of the lake.  Domestic sources contribute the most to the waste load in the lake (Lasco, 15).

This assessment provides an important framework for assessing problems facing water supply and pollution: identifying what external activities (economic, urbanization, industry) are creating problems (Lasco, 11).  This framework allows important insight into an important conclusion found in the report, that many of the activities creating water quality problems depend on clean water supplies.

The Wisconsin Northern Highlands Lake District ecosystem assessment also provides valuable information regarding both  water in the context of lake ecosystem services and methodologies for conducting an ecosystem assessment for a lake basin region.  Information and links for the project can be found here http://www.millenniumassessment.org/en/SGA.Wisconsin.aspx.  Threats to water quality in the NHLD region include eutrophication and mercury pollution (Peterson, et al., 2003).  One of the most important aspects of this assessment is the development of different scenarios for the future of the lake.  A similar approach for any lake basin would help conceptualize the effects that current trends will have on water available for human use, and estimate the results of different courses of action.

References

Lasco, R.D., & Espaldon, V.O. (Eds.).  (2005).  Ecosystems and people: The Philippines Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Sub-Global Assessment.  Environmental Forestry Programme, College of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of the Philippines Los Baños.  Retrieved from http://www.millenniumassessment.org/documents_sga/Philippine%20SGA%20Report.pdf

Peterson, G.D., Beard, T.D. Jr., Beisner, B.E., Bennett, E.M., Carpenter, S.R., Cumming, G.S.,…& Havlicek, T.D.  (2003).  Assessing future ecosystem services: A case study of the Northern Highlands Lake District, Wisconsin.  Ecology and Society7 (3): 1.  Retrieved from http://www.consecol.org/vol7/iss3/art1/.

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