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Bali's Diminishing Water Supply

New Ruling Increases the Cost of Sub-Terrain Water Used by Local Hotels by 1,000 Percent.

(9/7/2009) A ten-fold increase applied to hotels using sub-terrain water is prompting complaints from Bali's tourism industry.

The Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB), Ngurah Wijaya, told BisnisBali that his organization would soon seek a meeting with the island's governor to discuss the 1,000% increase. Said Wijaya: "We never imagined that their would be a 10-fold increase. This is a burden as companies must confront this large increase as almost all hotels in Bali use sub-terrain water sources.

The new regulation issued by the governor on June 11, 2009, set new tariffs for the use of sub-terrain water by both area and industrial sector. The new tariff charges 4 and 5 star hotels in Denpasar, Gianyar and Badung Rp. 75,000 (US$7.50) per cubic meter of water consumed above 2,500 cubic meters. Chemical industries have received the largest increase and are now being charged Rp. 115,000 (US$11.50) per cubic meter of water.

Wijaya said that the people of Bali support efforts to reduce the consumption of sub-terrain water, but, at the same time, said the government must offer alternative water sources by developing the public water board's (PAM) delivery system.

According to the Head of the Businessman's Association of Bali, Panudiana Kuhn, one 5 star hotel in Kuta has seen its water bill suddenly increase to Rp. 1.5 billion (US$150,000) from its former level of Rp. 150 million (US$15,000) a month.