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Bali's Growing Water Crisis

Dams Being Built on Penet River to Meet Water Shortage Affecting Bali's Main Tourist Areas.

(1/11/2010) Kompas.com reports that the regency of Badung, home to Bali's most intensive tourism development, is in the midst of a severe water crisis.

The head of the Rivers Department for Bali and Penida, Rai Yusha said: "In fact, the tourism facilities need water supplies in large quantities as do the surrounding local populations."

Supplies of fresh water from the Badung Water Board (PDAM Badung) are limited to 296 liters per second with a another 650 liters per second from PT TB, a private sector provider contracted by PDAM. In combination, the resulting 946 liters per second is still insufficient to meet the demand for water in the Badung regency.

In order to meet the current shortfalls, water officials are tapping ground water supplies via wells and water taken from the Ayung River.

Water officials warn that while they are managing to address current water demand, the situation is critical and addition fresh water supplies are urgently needed.

One source experienced with water supply issues points to the Penet River as a possible source of additional water supplies. The Penet river runs 45.3 kilometers and passes through the Tabanan and Badung regencies. Along the course of the river there are 24 dams for agricultural water supplies and 5 contributing water sources. The river irrigates an estimated 8,099 hectares of agricultural land. Tabanan Regency takes 50 liters per second from the river for water requirements in its area.

To meet current and short term water requirements for Badung, an additional 500 liters per second of water needs to be drawn from the river. This will be done via a dams currently being built in the village of Cemagi in Badung regency and another in Beraban village in Tabanan. The continuing construction of these dams will require Rp. 40.5 billion (US$4 million) in 2010 to purchase pumps, piping and construct dam walls.