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Bali Freshwater Lakes Under Threat

Lake Buyan Among Worst Affected by Pollution

(1/26/2009) The Indonesian National News Agency Antara reports that all of Bali's four lakes are suffering some degree of pollution, requiring urgent action by the people of Bali to maintain the island's environmental quality.

Speaking to Antara, Bali's Governor Made Mangku Pastika said, "we will involve a team of experts on lake ecologies in order that the four lakes in Bali remain clean."

Bali has four lakes Lake Buyan and Lake Tamblingan in the Buleleng regency; Lake Beratan in Tabanan regency; and Lake Batur in the Bangli regency.

Local boats used for transportation and floating accommodation are suspected as possible causes of pollution on the lakes through leaking fuel oil.

"We will also be undertaking a study on whether or not motor boats are needed as transportation or as tourism object support," explained Pastika.

Lake Buyan Most Polluted

Of the four lakes, Lake Buyan in Buleleng regency is considered to be the most severely polluted and also plagued with diminishing water depths. Pastika warned: "If in the coming decade, the depth issue is not addressed satisfactorily, we are concerned that the lake's water surface will disappear completely and be consumed by surrounding surface lands."

The shallow depths of the lake are due to the erosion of soil from nearby mountains, the rapid uncontrolled growth of water hyacinths (enceng gondok) and seepage into the lakes of fertilizers from surrounding farm lands.

Bali's governor told the press that the "normalization" of Bali's lake is an absolute priority, with the government required to quickly devise a recovery program for the island's freshwater lakes.