Playing Taps in Bali

Bali Environmentalist Claim Hotels Shown Favoritism in Access to Bali’s Water Supply

An exceptionally dry “dry season” is currently being experienced in Bali, most felt in the southern portions of the Island heavily populated with hotels and private residences. The Bali Post reports that the small pockets of agricultural land surrounding Denpasar are parched. Planted rice fields are bone-dry and lateritic, with half-developed rice now standing dead and yellow.

Coinciding with the drought in Bali is a generalized Water Crisis, worst felt in the areas of Jimbaran and Nusa Dua. The executive director of the Bali branch of the Indonesian Environmental Movement (WALHI), Suriadi Darmoko, complained that local residents are most affected by water shortages, with hotels and resorts seldom complaining of the poor water supply affecting many private residences.

Dartmoko claims  the water utility (PDAM) acts unfairly in how they distribute water, ensuring hotels receive priority before local residents. Suriadi blames the water shortage, in part, on uncontrolled boring of wells. This, he claims, is overwhelming practiced by hotels who drill illegal wells to supplement their water supplies, The WALHI officials also blamed the government for not placing limits on new hotel construction or the amount of water they are allowed to use.

He said efforts by the government to improve the water supply infrastructure might, in the end, prove inadequate in the face of the current unbridled building boom of new hotels. Suriadi estimates that Bali now has more than 90,000 hotel rooms, underlining the need for controls on the supply of fresh water to hotels and resorts in South Bali.

A South Kuta resident, Agus Astapa, told Bali Post that the water crisis has become acute over the past month. He calls on the government to evaluate the building permits given to new hotels and residential complexes. He contends that the rate of housing and hotel development is outstripping limited water supplies in Bali.

Source : Bali Discovery Tours

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