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Bali's Lakes are Shrinking

Three of Bali's Four Lakes Have Lost 3-4 Meters of Water Depth.

(8/22/2009) According to Bisnis Bali, three of the four lakes found in Bali have lost between three and four meters of water depth that must be urgently addressed to avoid a future water crisis.

"Anticipatory steps (needed) include controlling the use of sub-terrain water and conserving the surrounding environment," explained Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika.

Pastika told the press that the three lakes threatened by decreasing water levels are Lake Beratan, Lake Buyan in Tabanan, and Lake Batur in Bangli. The only Bali lake maintaining a constant water depth is Lake Tamblingan in Buleleng.

Governor Pastika continued by warning that in order to control the use of sub-terrain water the government must increase by a factor of ten the tax retribution charged for its use in combination with concrete steps to re-green jungle and critical area for water catchments.

According to the governor, "all this needs the support and understanding of a public concerned with environmental protection and the conservational of valuable water resources." Pastika added the cautionary note that Bali retains jungle cover on only 22% of its land surface, a figure far below the recommended level of 30%.

Jungle cover in Bali covers a total of 130,686 hectares comprised of 95,766 hectares (73.28%) of protected jungle; 26,293 hectares (20.12%) of conserved jungle; and 8,626 hectares (6.60%) of productive jungle.

The forestry service's plans for 2009 call for the replanting and reclamation of 325 hectares of deforested land in Bali.