A major source of nutrient load to periodically hypoxic Manila Bay is the urban nutrient waste water flow from humans and industries to surface water. In Manila alone, the population density is as high as 19,137 people/km2.
A major source of nutrient load to periodically hypoxic Manila Bay is the urban nutrient waste water flow from humans and industries to surface water. In Manila alone, the population density is as high as 19,137 people/km2. A model based on a global point source model by Morée et al. (2013) was used to estimate the contribution of the population to nitrogen and phosphorus emissions which was then used in a water transport model to estimate the nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) loads to Manila Bay.
Seven scenarios for 2050 were tested, with varying degrees and amounts for extent of sewage treatment, and population growth rates were also included.
- In scenario 1, the sewage connection and treatment remains the same as 2010.
- In scenario 2, sewage connection is improved but the treatment is the same.
- In scenario 3, the sewage connection as well as treatment is improved (70% tertiary).
- In scenario 4, a more realistic situation of 70% primary treatment achieved with 100% connection to pipes is tested.
- Scenarios 5, 6, and 7 have the same parameters as 1, 2, and 3 respectively, but with the population growth rate per province reduced to half of what was used in 1, 2, and 3.
In all scenarios, a significant increase in N and P loads was observed (varying from 27% to 469% relative to 2010 values). This was found even in scenario 3 where 70% of the waste water undergoes tertiary treatment which removes 80% N and 90% P. However, the lowest increase in N and P load into the bay was achieved in scenarios 5 to 7 where population growth rate is reduced to half of 2010 values.
The results suggest that aside from improving sewage treatment, the continued increase of the human population in Manila at current growth rates will be an important determinant of N and P load into Manila Bay.