02 May 2016

Water crisis in Bali?

Bali will face an acute deficit of fresh water over the coming decade as both water quality and water quantity are in serious decline. Underlining the severe state of Bali's water crisis are calculations that among the 462 rivers found on Bali, 300 are now "bone dry. The 22 major rivers that flow through more than one regency of the Island are also said to be under pressure.During Bali’s prolonged dry season, the rate-of-flow decreased markedly on Bali’s rivers and the mountain lakes that feed the lowlands with water have become critically shallow in depth as the result of heavy sedimentation. Experts blame the deforestation of Bali’s heartlands as contributing to water shortages in rivers and lakes. And because hotel guests require an average of 500 liters of fresh water for every day of their stay, a moratorium on new hotels is needed together with additional steps, such as capturing rain water and water conservations measures are needed to avert an even more drastic water shortage in the coming decade. In order to reduce the over-exploitation of ground water there is an urge for higher taxation of ground water well users. A master plan for development in Bali that is strictly followed and makes water conservation is a top priority. Those plan must also prevent the transformation of forested areas into agricultural land that leads to the sedimentation of Bali’s rivers and lakes. With the exception of the regency of Bangli, all regencies in Bali are now operating a high water deficit that, if left unchecked, will eventually leave the island high and dry.

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