Scholarly article on topic 'Hot spring resort development in Laguna Province, Philippines: Challenges in water use regulation'

Hot spring resort development in Laguna Province, Philippines: Challenges in water use regulation Academic research paper on "Earth and related environmental sciences"

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Abstract of research paper on Earth and related environmental sciences, author of scientific article — Karen Ann B. Jago-on, Fernando P. Siringan, Rosana Balangue-Tarriela, Makoto Taniguchi, Yvette Kirsten Reyes, et al.

Abstract Study region Calamba and Los Baños in Laguna Province, Philippines lie between the northern part of Mt. Makiling and north shore of Laguna de Bay. Study focus One significant activity in Laguna province is the development of the water resorts which includes hot springs resorts and spas. Presence of hot springs is due to the geothermal activities in the area. This study seeks to explore the nature and possible impacts of groundwater utilization in hot spring resorts in Calamba and Los Baños in Laguna Province. This study also analyzes the issues and challenges in the implementation of policies and laws to regulate water use in these resorts. New hydrological insights for the region These water resorts are estimated to consume large volume of groundwater which could result to over-extraction and decrease in groundwater quantity. However, monitoring and regulation of usage is difficult as most of these resorts operate without water use permits. If groundwater use is left unregulated, water availability for the resorts industry and for domestic, commercial and other uses in the future will be negatively affected. It is necessary to strengthen implementation of laws and enhance partnerships among national and local government agencies, private sector, civil society and communities, in the proper monitoring and regulation of groundwater resources to promote sustainability.

Academic research paper on topic "Hot spring resort development in Laguna Province, Philippines: Challenges in water use regulation"

journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies xxx (2015) xxx-xxx

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ejrh

Hot spring resort development in Laguna Province, Philippines: Challenges in water use regulation

Karen Ann B.Jago-ona*, Fernando P. Siringanb, Rosana Balangue-Tarrielac, Makoto Taniguchid, Yvette Kirsten Reyesa, Ronald Llorenb, Maria Angelica Penac, Elenito Bagalihoge

a School of Urban and Regional Planning, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City 1101, Philippines b Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City 1101, Philippines c National Institute of Geological Sciences, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City 1101, Philippines d Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, 457-4 Motoyama, Kamigamo, Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8047, Japan e National Water Resources Board, 8th floor NIA Building, EDSA, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

ARTICLE INFO ABSTRACT

Study region: Calamba and Los Banos in Laguna Province, Philippines lie between the northern part of Mt. Makiling and north shore of Laguna de Bay.

Study focus: One significant activity in Laguna province is the development of the water resorts which includes hot springs resorts and spas. Presence of hot springs is due to the geothermal activities in the area. This study seeks to explore the nature and possible impacts of groundwater utilization in hot spring resorts in Calamba and Los Banos in Laguna Province. This study also analyzes the issues and challenges in the implementation of policies and laws to regulate water use in these resorts.

New hydrological insights for the region: These water resorts are estimated to consume large volume of groundwater which could result to over-extraction and decrease in groundwater quantity. However, monitoring and regulation of usage is difficult as most of these resorts operate without water use permits. If groundwater use is left unregulated, water availability for the resorts industry and for domestic, commercial and other uses in the future will be negatively affected. It is necessary to strengthen implementation of laws and enhance partnerships among national and local government agencies, private sector, civil society and communities, in the proper monitoring and regulation of groundwater resources to promote sustainability.

© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Article history: Received 5 August 2015 Received in revised form 28 November 2015 Accepted 30 November 2015 Available online xxx

Keywords: Laguna Province Urbanization

Hot spring resorts development Water use regulations Groundwater management

1. Introduction

Groundwater plays a significant role in urban and rural development. Groundwater is often tapped as water supply for domestic, agricultural, commercial and industrial uses because of its quality, reducing the costs of treatment compared to surface water sources. It is also hailed for its reliability, especially during drought or extended dry periods. However, population growth and economic activities can increase groundwater consumption, which may lead to declines in groundwater levels if demand exceeds the capacity of the aquifer to recharge. In a study conducted to see the effects of high-volume water

* Corresponding author. Fax: +63 2 9291637. E-mail address: karenabj@gmail.com (K.A.B. Jago-on).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrh.2015.11.020

2214-5818/© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

2 K.A.B. Jago-on et al. / Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies xxx (2015) xxx-xxx

extractions, it was concluded that the more the spatial distribution of withdrawals is concentrated and the more changes in the dispersal of water level is happening, the more impact it will cause on the water level (Best and Lowry, 2014).

In addition, a study of Cooper et al. (2015) on the effects of groundwater pumping on the water table levels, hydraulic heads, and soil and vegetation composition data concluded that during summer days groundwater pumping produce distinct hydraulic head declines with the effects closest to the pumping well and the greatest declines happening in the conductive sand beneath the peat. The hydrologic changes also affect the ecosystem by shifting the vegetation due to the alterations in the peatlands. This may result to the switch from pasture to forest habitat due to the facilitation of the invasion of trees which occur in areas with declining water table. It was emphasized that in order to maintain or restore the hydrological process, pumping should be regulated and moderated (Cooper et al., 2015).

Lowering of groundwater levels can cause land subsidence and can create damages to infrastructures, buildings and even aggravate flooding, especially in low lying coastal areas. Cases of land subsidence in urban areas in Asia due to overpumping of groundwater have been discussed extensively in several studies (Endo, 2011; Jago-on et al., 2009; Kaneko and Toyota, 2011; Nutalaya et al., 1996; Oranuj et al., 2011; Rodolfo and Siringan, 2006; Taniguchi et al., 2009; Abidin et al., 2001). Another consequence of decreasing piezometric level of the aquifers is saline water intrusion. Saline water decreases groundwater quality and cause environmental changes that can also affect vegetation.

In the province of Laguna, which is located in Luzon Island, Philippines, tourism development is expected to increase the demand for groundwater resources. Laguna province, especially the areas of Calamba and Los Banos have many hot spring resorts and spas which consume huge volume of groundwater for swimming pools and other recreational facilities. Aside from recreational use, groundwater is also utilized for domestic, agricultural and industrial uses. Several resorts were established in recent years, but the uses of water are undocumented and not registered in the national agency incharge of regulating water allocations. If left unregulated, the increasing demand for these hot spring resorts can result in overexploitation of groundwater resources and create competition and conflicts among other uses in the area.

This study explores the nature of water usage in hot spring resorts in 2 study sites, Calamba and Los Banos in Laguna province and estimates the volume of groundwater use. The study also looks into the compliance of hot spring resorts to the provisions of the Water Code of the Philippines and the challenges in monitoring groundwater usage.

This study will certainly help in improving the implementation of existing water use regulations and may also lead to strengthening of ties among national government agencies, local government units, private sector groups and communities in the sustainable management of groundwater resources.

2. Description of study sites

2.1. Land area and population

The province of Laguna is a part of CALABARZON1 region in Luzon (the region comprising the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), located southeast of Metro Manila. Its northern portion is bounded by Laguna de Bay, the country's largest lake and the 3rd largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia (Fig. 1). It is bordered in the south by Mt. Makiling and Mt. Banahaw which are both sources of geothermal energy (Makiling-Banahaw or Mak-Ban Geothermal Plant). It has a total land area of 1759.73 km2. The province is approximately 30 km south of Metro Manila. Laguna lake is bounded by 60 cities and municipalities of the provinces of Rizal, Laguna, Batangas, Cavite, Quezon and Metro Manila.

Laguna province is divided into four (4) Congressional districts and is composed of 6 cities, 23 municipalities and 674 barangays1 (or villages). The two (2) study sites, Calamba city and the municipality of Los Banos are part of the 2nd district of Laguna. Calamba city is bounded on the east by Laguna de Bay and adjacent to Los Banos on the southern part. It is located 54 km south of Manila. Los Banos is bordered on the south and southwest by Mt. Makiling, on the north by Laguna de Bay, on the northwest by Calamba City. It is one of 17 lakeshore communities of Laguna and is about 63 km southeast of Metro Manila.

Calamba and Los Banos lie between the northern part of Mt. Makiling and southern shore of Laguna de Bay (Fig. 2). Mt. Makiling is a stratovolcano with a 16-km diameter and reaching up to 1115m above sea level and is a part of the Macolod Volcanic Complex, a number of Pliocene-Pleistocene volcanic centers found in Southwestern Luzon (Forster et al., 1990). Several scoria cones and tuff cones are common in the vicinity as well as monogenetic cones of basaltic composition. Presence of hot springs is due to the geothermal activities in the area. Another notable geologic feature found in the study site is a maar lake known as Tadlac Lake or Alligator Lake. Laguna de Bay on the other hand is formed by caldera eruption and extension tectonics and is probably a relic of a much larger ancient caldera system (Aurelio and Pena, 2004).

Calamba City has a total land area of 149.5 km2, which represents 12.66% of the total land area of the province, while the Municipality of Los Banos has a total land area of 56.5 km2, which corresponds to only 3.21% of the provincial land area. There are 54 barangays2 (villages) in Calamba City while Los Banos has 14 barangays.

1 CALABARZON is one ofthe regions in the Philippines, otherwise known as Region IV-A. The region is composed of five provinces, namely Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon. The names of the provinces form the acronym, CALABARZON. The regional center is Calamba City.

2 A "barangay" is the smallest political unit in the Philippines and is the Filipino term for a village or ward.

K.A.B. Jago-on et al. / Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies xxx (2015) xxx-xxx 3

Fig. 1. Study area map. Laguna Lake is located north of Calamba and Los Banos, Laguna.

wmm WÊ ' A 'cMr^

a •• yt • Laguna do Bay HÏ^k, WJp\ ■ ^ -.«A 'V? i&ftft ■ * \ ■ ■ It ^ . V Mt. Makiling Calamba ^^ " ■ Los Baños ur

'Ik. > C \ t*. ' i , i* s, Mt. Banahaw Taal Volcano -MÍ É'É '^^BM * ' ' ' v* Ov-'i

1 i» ÍV--"F ''

Fig. 2. Location of study sites at the foothills of Mt. Makiling and Mt. Banahaw.

Based on the census of the Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA) in 2010, Laguna has a total population of 2,669,847 people, an increase of about 703,975 from 2000 and with a population growth rate of 3.1% in a decade (PSA, 2010). Among the cities in Laguna, Calamba City is the most populous with a population size of 389,377 persons, making up 14.6% of the total provincial population. On the other hand, Los Banos has 101,884 inhabitants or only 3.82% of the provincial population lives in the municipality (PSA, 2010). Fig. 3 shows the population growth trend of Calamba and Los Banos from 1903 to 2010.

450,000 400,000 350,000 300,000 250,000 200,000 150,000 100,000 50,000 0

Fig. 3. Population of Calamba and Los Banos from 1903 to 2010.

Source: PSA, 2013.

Calamba City like other towns and cities in the region has been experiencing population explosion, mainly due to inmigration. The CALABARZON area has become a favored destination of migrants from Metro Manila because of its emergence as a key center for manufacturing of export products, business development, housing and employment (CPDO, 2007).

2.2. Urbanization and land use changes

There had been enormous changes in the land uses of Calamba from 1946 to 1980 (CPDO, 1999). About 28.75 km2 of agricultural land, 6.45 km2 of grassland, and 11.35 km2 of forest reserve were converted to urbanize the community. Given the role of an industrial area which is immediately outside the 50-km radius from Manila, the land conversion was also in support to the industrial dispersal program of the national government in the 1970s (CPDO, 1999). In total, about 46.55 km2 of the city were converted during this period for the expansion of areas for industrial use. The only recent land use data for Calamba which is in 1995, shows that almost half of Calamba's area is considered as grassland, followed by agriculture at 29.13% and built-up area at 24.14%. However, various changes in the land use from 1995 up to the present are expected as Calamba City is rapidly urbanizing. For so many years, the area of land allocated for agriculture continued to diminish and this has been largely attributed to the direction of Calamba towards urbanization and industrialization. As of 2012, Calamba has over 80,000 households, around 6000 establishments and almost 300 industrial firms clustered in 9 estates, which occupy a total of 4.49 km2 of industrial land (CPDO, 2013).

The largest land area of Los Banos, about 22.62 km2 or 40.04% of the entire municipality jurisdiction, is devoted to forest conservation (MPDO, 2012). This part of the land has continued to be unaffected by the developments in the area due to the fact that a large component of the forest area is beyond the control of the local government. This land area is under the supervision of the University of the Philippines Los Banos, as mandated in the Republic Act 6967 (RA 6967). About 9.28 km2 of land or 16.44% of land in the municipality are classified as residential area, which accommodate a total of 21,167 households, sub-clustered into 41 subdivisions (MPDO, 2010). Presently, there are various residential developments in the municipality and these are expected to increase further. Other land uses, such as commercial areas and parks and open spaces constitute a small percentage of the land in the municipality.

2.3. Tourism and other economic activities

Calamba City has an important role in Philippine history and in the tourism industry being the hometown of the country's national hero, Jose Rizal. But the city is more popular with tourists because of the presence of hot spring resorts, which offer private pools and spas, accommodations and other amenities and facilities for relaxation and recreation. Because of the proliferation of numerous hot spring resorts, Calamba is considered as the "Hot spring capital of the Philippines" and these have become the pillars of tourism industry in the city (CPDO, 2007). Similar to Calamba. Los Banos is also recognized as a tourist destination because of its hot spring resorts.

The proximity of Calamba and Los Banos to Laguna de Bay has also given many economic opportunities for fishery and aquatic resources production and tourism development. Besides fisheries production and recreation, the lake water is also used in transportation, power generation, industrial cooling, as flood water reservoir and a source of potable water (LLDA, 1995).

Being host to both local and multi-national companies, Calamba has been identified as a major economic growth center in the CALABARZON. Most manufacturing establishments operating in Calamba are housed in the city's economic zones. In

K.A.B. Jago-on et al./Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies xxx (2015)xxx-xxx

Study site Number of registered resorts

Calamba 466

Los Banos 42

Source: Business permit and licensing offices of Calamba and Los Banos, 2014.

2007, out of the 535 operating enterprises in the economic zones in the Philippines, 130 were located in the six (6) private economic zones in Calamba (PEZA, 2007). Currently, eight (8) manufacturing economic zones and two (2) information technology parks and centers are located in the city (PEZA, 2015). The influx of investors caused an increase in the number of business establishments that account to 5023 in 2006 (CPDO, 2007). The continuous growth of population also paved the way for the promotion of various economic activities in the city.

A large part of Los Banos' economy is dependent on agricultural production. A total of 13.92 km2 of land are allocated for agricultural activities. Most agricultural crops are coconut and banana. The municipality also has 458 fishermen who work in various fishpens and fishponds along Laguna de Bay (MPDO, 2010). Los Banos is not really seen as a major urbanizing center and one of the evidences is its lack of major commercial core (MPDO, 2010). But the municipality has been recognized as a center for scientific research and development in the field of agriculture and environmental preservation and was designated and declared as a "Special Science and Nature City of the Philippines" through Presidential Proclamation No. 349 in 2007. Located in Los Banos are prominent domestic and foreign academic and research institutions such as the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), ASEAN Center for Biodiversity, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO)-Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD). The municipality is also famous for mountaineering activities.

2.4. Water resources in Calamba and Los Banos

The main source of water supply in Calamba and Los Banos is groundwater, sourced through pressurized pumps, wells and reservoirs. The piped water systems in Calamba are being maintained by the Calamba Water District (CWD), while the Laguna Water District (LWD) provides water service connections to Los Banos. A total of 49 pumps across Calamba are registered in the CWD (CWD, 2015). However, many households have their own pumps installed, without the regulation of the water districts. As of 2014, the CWD piped system serves about 46,595 households and government institutions and 2979 commercial and industrial establishments (CWD, 2015). There are nine (9) main water sources of LWD across Los Banos, which include the Dampalit Dam in Mt. Makiling, and groundwater wells located in the barangays (villages) of Lalakay, Lopez Heights Timugan, Villegas Baybayin, Maahas, UPCO, Umali, Batong Malake and Bayog. Aside from Los Banos, the LWD also supplies potable water to the nearby towns located along the southern coastline of Laguna de Bay (towns of Bay, Calauan and some areas in Victoria). At present, the LWD covers water connections for 18,522 residential areas, 109 institutions, and 799 commercial establishments (LWD, 2015).

Based on the records of the CWD, the total monthly water consumption of domestic and commercial users in December 2014 was about 925,051 m3. Of the total consumption, 94% (869,463 m3) was for domestic consumption, while 6% (55,588 m3) was used by the commercial sector (CWD, 2015). Meanwhile, in Los Banos the total monthly water consumption in October 2014 based on the records of the LWD, was about 659,826 m3. Of this amount, 97% (639,896 m3) was accounted for domestic consumption, while 3% (19,930 m3) was consumed by the commercial and bulk users (LWD, 2015).

3. Methodology

This study attempts to determine the impact of hot spring development on groundwater resources. The study determines the laws and policies to regulate and monitor water utilization and the compliance of resorts to these laws and policies.

In order to identify the location of hot spring resorts in the study areas, site visits and gathering of secondary data from the local government offices were conducted. Commercial establishments, such as hot spring resorts and spas, need to register their business operations at the Business Permit and Licensing Offices (BPLO) of Calamba and Los Banos. The lists of registered hot spring resorts were acquired from the BPLO (Table 1). Presently, there are about 466 public and private resorts in Calamba, from only 193 in 1998. Most of the resorts are located in the barangays (or villages) of Pansol, Bagong Kalsada and Bucal. As of 2014, a total of 42 hot spring resorts have been registered in Los Banos, mostly found in the barangays (villages) of Lalakay, Tadlac, Bambang and Baybayin. However, several of these resorts have not registered their business at the BPLO. Some of the resorts have been identified through their advertisements online. The lists of registered resorts were then assessed with the number of resorts advertised online.

From the secondary data and various site visits, several hot spring resorts were selected for the survey. An interview questionnaire was developed for the survey to gather information on the profile of resorts and resorts operations, including date of establishment, size of the pool, frequency of water replacement, months of peak and lean seasons, depth of wells, and observed changes in volume of water from the pumps through time. The respondents were also asked of their awareness

K.A.B. Jago-on et al./Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies xxx (2015)xxx-xxx

MÉÉJ

ĻJS 2mi

Ba ran g ay Tadlac

Barangay Lalakay

Barangay Baybayin

* Published resorts online Actual survey

Barangay Bambùng

CALAMBA

LOS BANOS

Fig. 4. Location of private pools and resorts based on online search and actual survey.

Fig. 5. Years of establishment of hot spring resorts (based on survey).

of any regulation or laws related to the usage and management of water. The selection of sampling resorts was through purposive sampling. The survey was conducted among the resorts whose owners or caretakers allowed the administration of the survey. During the 2-month fieldwork (September-October 2014), a total of 65 resorts were surveyed (Fig. 4). The volume of monthly consumption of water for the pools in each resort was calculated using the following formula:

MVpS = V X FpS (1)

MVls = V x F ls (2)

where, V is volume of water estimated using pool size and depth and F is frequency of water change per month (ps for peak season and ls for lean season).

4. Research results and discussions

Results from the initial survey show that most of the resorts are fairly new, established only in the past decade (Fig. 5). The facilities of the resorts surveyed typically include one (1) adult pool, which measures on average asizeof6.8m x11.12m and is usually about 1 m to 2 m deep; and one (1) children's pool of about 0.6 m-0.9 m deep and average size of 3.12 m x 3.82 m. Most of these resorts use one (1) or two (2) motor pumps, and it usually takes about seven (7) hours to fill the pool with water. The depth of the wells ranges from 3 m-100 m. The average depth of the wells is about 29 m.

From the surveyed resorts, swimming pools are drained of water every booking of new guests which on average is about three (3) times a week during peak periods of tourist arrivals. Peak season for the hot spring resorts is during summer months,

K.A.B. Jago-on et al./Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies xxx (2015) xxx-xxx

Barangay Pansol

CALAMBA

Úarangay ' Tadlac

Barangay Baybayin

Bambang ^

LOS BAÑOS

• Less than 500 cu.ni

Fig. 6. Estimated monthly water consumption (cu.m.) of surveyed resorts in Calamba and Los Banos during peak season.

from March-May, specifically on Holy Week and school breaks. December is also a visitor's month, as tourists take advantage of the holiday season and Christmas parties. The average monthly consumption of water of each establishment is estimated based on the size of the pool and the frequency of water change. The average volume of monthly water consumption is estimated to be around 1500 m3 during peak periods and about 700 m3 during lean periods or during the rainy months (Fig. 6). Based on this estimated monthly consumption during peak season, the total monthly water consumption for the pools in all registered resorts in Calamba was around 665,260 m3. Compared with the monthly consumption of water users serviced by the CWD, this amount is about 72% of total consumption and 77% of the domestic consumption. Using the same estimates on monthly consumption of water resorts during peak season, the total volume of consumption of all registered resorts in Los Banos was about 59, 959 m3 or 9% of the total volume of consumption of users in the LWD. This consumption is also about 300% higher than the accounted consumption by the commercial sector from the LWD. These results show an estimated huge demand of groundwater from these water resorts.

Interviews with hot spring caretakers reveal some observed changes in the volume of water through time. Among those mentioned are decrease in water yield and flow rate from pumps; increase in the time to fill the pools; and decline in water level making it necessary to dig deeper wells. The unrestrained exploitation of groundwater is perceived to cause the decrease in water level and drying up of older wells.

The increasing number of hot spring resorts in the area and the increase number of visitors entail greater demand for groundwater to be used in the pools. However, monitoring the actual groundwater extraction is a challenge, as most of these resorts operate without water use permits, as required by the Water Code of the Philippines. Based on the list of registered water users at the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), the main implementing agency of the Water Code, there are 135 and 9 water permittees in Calamba and Los Banos, respectively (Table 2). Out of these numbers, only three (3) establishments have been registered for recreational use, inconsistent with the total number of resorts operating in the area (Table 1). Fig. 7 also shows the location of registered wells in Calamba and Los Banos as well as in other cities and towns in Laguna. The number of registered wells seems to be less than the number of water users in the province.

The increasing number of tourists and guests in hot spring resorts and spas in Calamba and Los Banos, and the activities that they generate entail an increased demand for groundwater use in the future. Any addition to the population of these two areas through natural increase and in-migration will also necessitate an added demand for groundwater for domestic consumption. The continued development of the built environment driven by the increase in commercial and industrial activities also needs an increase in water supply to support production and other economic endeavors. Heavy and uncontrolled groundwater withdrawals from domestic, industrial, commercial, recreational and other uses can deplete groundwater resources. In the future, the decline in groundwater supply can increase competition and create conflicts among these different users. It is therefore, necessary to regulate the allocation of water rights and monitor the use of groundwater resources.

8 K.A.B. Jago-on et al. / Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies xxx (2015) xxx-xxx

Table 2

Number of well permittees by type of use in Calamba and Los Banos, 2013.

Type of use Calamba Los Banos

Commercial 1 -

Domestic 37 4

Industrial 67 1

Irrigation 8 2

Livestock 1 -

Municipal 17 -

Power 1 -

Recreation 1 2

Others 2 -

Grand total 135 9

Source: NWRB, 2014.

The regulations on allocation of water rights in the Philippines are embedded in the Presidential Decree Number 1067 (PD 1067), otherwise known as the Water Code of the Philippines. Enacted in 1976, this decree consolidated the laws governing the ownership, appropriation, utilization, exploitation, development, conservation and protection of water resources in the country (NWRB, 2013). In 2005, the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Water Code were amended.

The NWRB, under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), is the national agency mandated to administratively enforce the provisions of the Water Code, including the granting of permits and the imposition of penalties for administrative violations. The predecessor of NWRB was the National Water Resources Council (NWRC), which was created in 1974 through Presidential Decree No. 424 (PD 424). The NWRC was an attached agency to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) (formerly known as Department of Public Works, Transportation and Communication (DPWTC). The NWRC had regulatory and executory functions, which included the coordination and integration of water resources development activities of the country, regulation of appropriation and utilization of surface and ground water,

K.A.B. Jago-on et al. / Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies xxx (2015) xxx-xxx 9

and determination, adjudication and provision of water rights. In 1987, the NWRC was reorganized and renamed to "National Water Resources Board (NWRB)" through Executive Order No. 124-A (EO 124-A, 1987). The membership of the Board was reconstituted in 2002 by virtue of Executive Order No. 123 (EO 123, 2002) and NWRB became a bureau of the DENR. The regulatory functions of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) were then transferred to the NWRB. However, Executive Order No. 860 (EO 860,2010) was issued in 2010 to redefine the composition and powers of the NWRB and change the membership of the NWRB Board. The NWRB was then transferred to DENR as an attached agency of the Department.

The Water Code defines water as "water under the ground, water above the ground, water in the atmosphere and the waters of the sea within the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines" (Article 4). The Water Code states that "all waters belong to the state" and that "no person including government instrumentalities or government-owned or controlled corporations shall appropriate water without a water right, which shall be evidenced by a document known as a Water Permit" (Article 13). Water right is a privilege granted by the government to appropriate and use water. The appropriation of waters would mean the "acquisition of rights over the use of water; or the taking or diverting of waters from a natural source in the manner for any purpose allowed by law" (NWRB, 2013). The IRRof PD 1067 states that water maybe appropriated for the following descending purposes and uses: (a) domestic; (b) municipal; (c) irrigation; (d) power generation; (e) fisheries; (f) livestock raising; (g) industrial; (h) recreational; and (i) other purposes. The use of water for recreational purposes, as in the case of hot spring resorts, is the utilization of water for swimming pools, bath houses, boating, water skiing, golf courses and other similar facilities in resorts and other places of recreation.

The general rule that water cannot be appropriated without a permit has certain exceptions. The law provides that the owner of the land where the water is found may use the water for purely domestic purposes without securing a permit (Article 6). "Purely domestic purpose" is defined in the law as the use of not more than 250 l/capita/day of water by a single household. The law also provides that if water is appropriated by means of hand-carried receptacles or when natural bodies of water are used for bathing or washing, watering or dipping of domestic farm animals, navigation for water crafts or transportation of logs and other objects of flotation, securing a permit is no longer necessary (Article 14). However, all water uses should be registered with the NWRB. Water permittees need to maintain water control and measuring devices and are also required to keep records of water withdrawal.

For long-term water use sustainability, it is most important to register the users and determine a better estimate of the types and volume of abstraction and compare with information on aquifer recharge (Kemper, 2003). Monitoring of groundwater withdrawal is much more difficult because the users in these resorts are not documented. Several of these resorts have not even registered their business operations at the local government offices. Strict implementation of business registration and water registration and permitting systems can greatly assist monitoring of these water uses. These challenges in the registration and permitting system should be included in the review of the Water Code to increase compliance to the provisions of the Code. Aside from monitoring, results of this study can also provide insights in setting guidelines specifically for the utilization of hot spring water in the country.

The NWRB is mandated to regularly monitor water use, however, the office also lacks the resources and capacity to perform this function all over the country. Part of the difficulty is the insufficient budgetary allocation to the agency to increase the number of personnel and enhance technical capacities to monitor the utilization and condition of water resources.

The Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act 7160) mandates local government units (LGUs) or the cities/municipalities to promote the general welfare of its people and the right to a balanced ecology (Section 16), which would include the maintenance of sustainable water resource. The LGUs of Calamba and Los Banos, and other LGUs in Laguna can support the implementation of the provisions of the Water Code by forging partnerships with the NWRB in monitoring groundwater extraction in their respective administrative areas. In Metro Manila, four (4) cities (Malabon City, Makati City, San Juan City and Quezon City) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the NWRB in monitoring groundwater extraction and in implementing the provisions of the Water Code. As of now, Calamba and Los Banos have not yet implemented any local legislation in relation to the regulation of water usage in the resort industry. The ordinances and resolutions adopted by both LGUs regarding hot spring resorts were mostly related to the registration of business and payment of business and real property taxes, as well as the maintenance of safety and order in the resort premises (Calamba Local Legislative Council, 1994, 2006; Los Banos Municipal Legislative Council, 2012). To further support the growing tourism industry, Resolution No.077 (Series of 2010) was also passed in Calamba City in 2012 to allocate funds for the trainings and seminars of tourist guides (Calamba Local Legislative Council, 2012).

Local communities, especially the barangays (villages) where many of the resorts are located can also assist the NWRB in documenting groundwater users or well owners in the area, and to record observed changes in groundwater quantity or quality, as well as possible impacts of groundwater level decline.

To sustainably manage groundwater resources, it is also necessary to promote groundwater research and institutionalize groundwater information management systems. These will promote understanding of the dynamics and processes that shape the groundwater systems. In the Philippines, there is still no established groundwater monitoring network system that can generate basic data on groundwater quality and quantity conditions. Basic information on the hydrogeologic situation of the area; inventory of well users, location of wells and groundwater usage; groundwater levels and status of groundwater quality; and the possible effects of groundwater quantity and quality decline are required to understand the issues and emerging problems in groundwater management. These information are also needed to formulate better planning and policy decisions. Strengthening or establishment of strong and effective water management institutions is easier when adequate and accurate data are available to convince policy makers on the importance of managing the resource. When

10 K.A.B. Jago-on et al. / Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies xxx (2015) xxx-xxx

available research can confirm that there is a decline of groundwater levels due to over extraction, the government can discuss with water users or stakeholders, especially the private sector groups (in this case, the resort owners) regarding the impacts of this condition and the effects of no action. This will eventually encourage support and active participation of stakeholders in the implementation of water policies and regulations, and in the sustainable use and management of the aquifers in the long-term.

5. Conclusion

Hot spring water resorts and spas in Calamba and Los Banos, Laguna are estimated to consume a large volume of groundwater which could result to over-extraction and decrease in groundwater quantity. However, monitoring of actual usage is difficult as most of these resorts do not have water use permits. The Water Code of the Philippines requires water users to register and apply for permits for water allocation, but still many resorts have not yet registered with the NWRB. If groundwater extraction is left unregulated, water availability for the resorts industry and for other uses in the future, will be negatively affected. The decrease in groundwater supply can lead to competition and conflicts among different users. It is necessary to strengthen the implementation of water regulations and enhance partnerships among the national and local government agencies, private sector groups, civil society and communities in the regular monitoring of groundwater resources to promote sustainable use.

Acknowledgment

This research is funded by the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) Project R08-Init Human Environmental Security in Asia Pacific Ring of Fire: Water-Energy-Food Nexus, in Kyoto, Japan.

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