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Transfusing Bali's Arteries

Environmentalists Working to Restore Water to Bali's Vanishing Network of Rivers and Streams.

(1/15/2011) Of the nearly 400 rivers and streams in Bali, almost 300 are now classified as "dry." This condition is linked to the denuding of vegetation in Bali's hinterlands and the overuse of underground reservoirs of water.

The head of the Bali Environmental Agency (BLH), Anak Agung Sastrawan, told BeritaBali.com that the dry rivers now only carry run off water when it rains or function as streams during Bali's "wet season."

Sastrawan said that efforts are now underway to rehabilitate Bali's watershed regions in order to get the island's rivers flowing with water once again.

"With the reforestation of land bio-processes will be restored, ground water will return and eventually the rivers will flow again," explained Sastrawan.

The well known Bali environmentalist said the loss of water sources in Bali's hinterlands is due both to the loss of vegetation and the intensity of ground water exploitation in those areas.

As a result, the intense demand on ground water has prompted the provincial government to encourage conservation by increasing the tax on sub-terrain water sources by 1,000 percent.