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A Sinking Feeling on Kuta Beach in Bali?

Experts Warn that Subsidence and Sink Holes May Result from Over-Exploitation of Bali's Water Table.

(9/27/2010) The continuing over-exploitation of ground water in the Kuta beach area of Bali may extract a very high penalty on that section of the island. In addition to the intrusion of salt water into the water table, Kuta is now also threatened with ground soil collapse and subsidence which could see parts of the Kuta community disappear into sink holes.

Quoted in Radar Bali, the mining chief of the Badung Regency Building Authority (Dinas Cipta Karya Badung), I Putu Wiarka, warned that subsidence is a real possibility with the vertical intrusion of salt water occurring up to 100 meters from the shoreline. He cautioned: "If the pumping of water continues and ground water levels keep falling, subsidence or collapse of land can certainly happen. Fortunately, the current intrusion we have discovered is of a vertical nature. If it were horizontal, the land can subside."

Claiming the threat is there before our eyes, he say that there is little he can do. The need for fresh water in Kuta remains high with piped water supplies inadequate to meet Kuta's demand.

"We cannot avoid the current situation, because the demand and supply (of water) are out of balance. We can only remind people not to over-exploit ground water," said Wiarka.

Among the areas of Badung (south Bali) suffering significant salt water intrusion are Jimbaran-Benoa (Blok I); Kuta (Blok II); and Perenanan-Canggu (Blok III).