Roadmap and model for improving water quality in Lake Toba (Sumatra)

Published: 20 June 2017

The President of Indonesia, His Excellence Joko Widodo, recently gave a new impetus to the further development of a number of tourist locations in Indonesia. Lake Toba in North Sumatra is one of those locations.

Development includes the construction of two new toll roads and a new ferry link to transport tourists to and across the lake. The plans are part of the Lake Toba Tourism Master Plan, which also identifies water quality and the ecosystem of the lake as key assets and areas for improvement.

Widespread support

On behalf of the World Bank, Deltares has teamed up with PT Haskoning Indonesia and WRI Indonesia to draw up a road map in the next eight months with the aim of improving water quality. The road map will require widespread support and be drawn up in collaboration with a large selection of stakeholders, and national and local experts in the area. They will work together to chart both problems and potential solutions.

Lake Toba is one of the largest, and also one of the fifteen deepest, lakes in the world. The water quality in the lake was found to be good in 1996 but it has deteriorated since. This process is difficult to explain in such a large and deep lake and it is one of the reasons why this study will be looking at the entire catchment area of ​​the lake. The depth and stratification of the lake play a major role. Deltares combines our important expertise in the area of forecasting emissions with our experience in the field of stratification in deep lakes.

illustration Lake Toba catchment area

Important for the health of the people

The road map is intended to result in recommendations for the improvement of water quality and ecological status. Obviously, this is important not only for tourism but particularly for the health of the people who live and work around the lake.