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Bali's Worsening Water Crisis

Hotels in Nusa Dua and Kuta Affected by Diminishing Water Supplies.

(10/17/2009) A page-one story in the Bali Post on Thursday, October 15, 2009, has confirmed the worsening water crisis affecting the island. A number of hotels in Nusa Dua, Kuta and Seminyak are reported to be suffering critical water shortages with water reservoirs down to as little 90 centimeters of standing water in reserve tanks.

Bambang Wibowo, Chief Engineer of Melia Bali Villa and Spa Resort, Nusa Dua said that a prolonged dry period has had an acute effect on water reserves since October 9th. Other Chief Engineers in Nusa Dua are making similar complaints.

Beyond Nusa Dua, the Chief Engineer of the Sofitel Seminyak, Esti Haryono, said the shortage of water was affecting a number of water-dependent areas of the hotel's operations, including garden and swimming pools.

Despite long-standing warnings that Bali's was failing to conserve its water resources, little has been done to preserve sub-terrain water reservoirs or clean up the badly polluted rivers which supply, after intensive water treatment, Bali's piped water supply.

According to Bali Post, the Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) which manages the Nusa Dua Complex of hotels and tourism businesses is largely absent of reminders to visitors to help conserve precious water supplies. The entire supply of water for the BTDC's approximately 5,000 guest rooms is piped to South Bali by the island's water board (PAM) and a local water-supply company, diverting precious water supplies from other up-island agricultural needs.

The newspaper estimated that the BTDC complex consumes Rp. 3.8 million cubic meters each year.

For more than a decade agricultural experts and environmentalists from the Indonesian conservational watchdog group WALHI and Udayana University have warned of a coming water crisis.

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