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Water Not Fit for Washing

The Waters of Bali’s Lake Batur Labeled a Threat to Public Health

Bali News: Bali, Danau Batur, Lake Batur, Bangli, Pollution, Bangli Environmental Agency, Ida Ayu Yudi Sutha
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The Bangli Environmental Agency has officially classified the water quality of Bali’s iconic Lake Batur as Class IV – a level unsuitable for human consumption.

The lowest classification possible, Class IV water can only be used for the irrigation of farmland.

As reported by NusaBali, the grim situation of water in the volcanic late is made direr by the shallowness of the lake that has lost an estimated 5 meters of depth.

The report on the water condition at Lake Batur was announced by the Head of the Bangli Head of the Environmental Agency, Ida Ayu Yudi Sutha, in an interview on Wednesday, August 9, 2017.

She explained that the Government uses four categories for water classification:

  • Class I – Water suitable for eventual consumption by human beings.
  • Class II – Water suitable for recreational water sports, the cultivation of fresh water fish, for watering livestock and the irrigation of crops.
  • Class III – Water suitable for the cultivation of fresh water fish, and agricultural irrigation.
  • Class IV – Water suitable only for crop irrigation.
Dayu Yudi said: “Based on observations made at Lake Batur on July 19, 2017, the water of Lake Batur has been given a Class IV status that is suitable only for the irrigation of agricultural lands.”

Officials blame the high level of pollution in Lake Batur on a number of factors, including pesticides used on surrounding agricultural lands; sedimentation caused by erosion of the lake’s shorelines; the accumulation of fecal waste from fish;  the and the accumulation of unconsumed fish food decomposing on the bottom of the lake.

As the result of pollution and sedimentation, the lake that once had a maximum depth of 74 meters is now measured at 69 meters – a loss of 5 meters of water depth.

The Government is now intensively seeking ways to restore biological balance to Lake Batur. Steps underway include persuading farmers living near the lake to stop using pesticides and switching to organic fertilizers. Weeds growing in the shallows of the lake are also actively being removed from the waters.

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