Vol. 14 No. 2 (2023):
Research Article

Assessment of the environmental quality of Lake Skadar and its urban surroundings in Montenegro

Dragan Burić
Department of Geography, University of Montenegro, Danila Bojovica bb, 81400 Nikšic, Montenegro
Ivan Mijanović
Department of Geography, University of Montenegro, Danila Bojovica bb, 81400 Nikšic, Montenegro
Miroslav Doderović
Department of Geography, University of Montenegro, Danila Bojovica bb, 81400 Nikšic, Montenegro
Jovan Mihajlović
Faculty of Geography, University of Belgrade, Studentski trg 3/3, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Goran Trbić
Department of Geography, Faculty of Science and Mathematics, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Lake Skadar in Montenegro

Published 2023-06-23


  • WQI,
  • Lake Skadar,
  • PM10,
  • Podgorica,
  • Bar,
  • Montenegro,
  • water quality,
  • air quality
  • ...More

How to Cite

Burić, Dragan, Ivan Mijanović, Miroslav Doderović, Jovan Mihajlović, and Goran Trbić. 2023. “Assessment of the Environmental Quality of Lake Skadar and Its Urban Surroundings in Montenegro”. European Journal of Geography 14 (2):76-87. https://doi.org/10.48088/ejg.d.bur.
Received 2023-04-23
Accepted 2023-06-23
Published 2023-06-23


Lake Skadar on the Balkan Peninsula faces many ecological challenges. The lake is located in the border area between Montenegro and Albania and its ecosystem interacts with important and highly populated urban centres such as Podgorica and Bar. Despite the crucial role the lake plays in the sustainability of the ecosystem and the health of the population, there is a lack of environmental quality assessment and data-based analysis. Therefore, the aim of this study is to assess both the water quality of Lake Skadar and the air pollution in Podgorica and Bar in the period from 2011 to 2018. To assess water quality, the Water Quality Index (WQI) model, i.e. the SWQI method, was used, which was calculated based on 10 parameters of physicochemical and microbiological characteristics of water from 9 hydrological stations (oxygen saturation, biochemical oxygen consumption for 5 days, ammonium ions, pH, total nitrogen oxides, orthophosphates, suspended solids, temperature, electrical conductivity and coliform bacteria). In addition, air quality in the two cities was assessed using timeseries of PM10 concentrations. The results showed that the water quality of Lake Skadar was of good to high quality (WQI 79-95), while the air quality in Podgorica and Bar was a serious public health problem, especially in the cold seasons in Podgorica (i.e. the average seasonal and daily PM10 concentrations were often > 40 and > 50 µg/m3). These results are of great practical importance for environmental management and support decision makers in applying certain environmental protection measures and strategies.



  • Frequent high daily concentrations of PM10 (above 50 µg/m3) in Podgorica and Bar endanger public health.
  • Increasing anthropogenic pressure in the area of Lake Skadar and its surroundings.
  • Environmental protection in Montenegro must be ensured through the application of integrative environmental and spatial planning measures.



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