Bali running out of water thanks to drought, industry & tourist demands

Don't waste water while you're abroad.

Sulaiman Daud | December 02, 2019, 12:26 PM

A total of 16 million tourists, both domestic and international, visited the island of Bali in 2018.

While this is good news for the local economy, it puts a lot of strain on the island's natural resources.

Water has been increasingly diverted from rural to urbanised areas to serve the needs of Bali's visitors, according to Al-Jazeera.

And things have been made worse by a severe drought that has affected most of Indonesia, including Bali.

Water sources drying up

According to a scientific paper written by Stroma Cole, citing Indonesia's Environmental Protection Agency, over half of Bali's rivers have run dry, or some 260 out of 400.

Cole, who is a lecturer at the University of the West of England, noted that the island's largest water reserve, Lake Buyan, has dropped by 3.5 metres.

A charity worker that Al-Jazeera interviewed estimated that the average tourist uses between 2,000 and 4,000 litres of water per day, based on daily water use in resorts.

In addition to the high demand for water for tourism purposes, such as hotels, swimming pools and golf courses, industrial demand for water has also soared after huge MNCs such as Coca-Cola opened production facilities on the island.

Locals suffering from the drought

Meanwhile, Bali's villages are suffering due to the drought, and don't have enough water for basic needs like cooking and cleaning.

The island's iconic rice paddies, usually green and lush, are now drying up.

Government water trucks are dispatched to cover the shortfall, but at times there aren't enough to go around.

If you're headed to Bali for an end-of-year break, be a responsible tourist, and try not to waste water.

Top image from Pixabay and Kayla Wong.