Bali is running out of freshwater and tourism is the only industry being blamed.
Over half of the Indonesian island’s rivers have run dry, and the rainy season, which traditionally runs from October to April, has still not arrived. With over 65 per cent of the island’s water supply being used by the tourism industry, one local journalist says Bali is in ‘real danger’. With so many swimming pools and garden resorts to cater for, each tourist is estimated to use between 2000 and 4000 litres of water a day.
IDEP, an Indonesian non-government organisation highlighting sustainable development, says the situation is particularly bad in the south of the island, and that traditional freshwater exploitation is being hampered by hotel and villa development. Indonesia’s Environmental Protection Agency says that 260 of Bali’s 400 rivers have run dry, and this situation is becoming dire.
“We have three major underground water channels in Bali and they are all changing shape and shrinking because hotels are drawing too much water from their wells. Our research also shows the quality of the water is really bad, too.”
A senior professor of tourism geography at the University of the West of England has written scientific articles about Bali’s water problem. He said that the issue will only get worse ‘unless there is a paradigm shift in the mass tourism model and adopting quality sustainable tourism’.
“How absurd that a tropical island like Bali is running out of water?”