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Bali's Bitter Cup to Drink

Over Development Threatening Bali's Subterranean Fresh Water Supply.

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Badung Regency and Denpasar officials have issued a warning that uncontrolled use of wells are resulting in the intrusion of salt water into the Island's precious water table.

The Head of the Water Resource and Village Infrastructure Section of the Public Works Department, IGN Sura Adnyana, is blaming Bali's rapid rate of new investment and the unmonitored use of wells. "In any case," said Adnyana, "what's clear is that Denpasar and Badung must be very careful in how it uses subterranean fresh water supplies."

As a precautionary step, the provincial government of Bali is finalizing plans for the construction of holding damns at 4 river sources on the island to provide an alternative to tapping into sub-surface sources.

A local environmental observer, Drs. KG Dharma Putra, told the Bali Post that the use of subterranean water sources has become critical in Bali with many illegally sinking wells in areas prone to salt-water intrusion. "We must soon limit the use of subterranean water in areas prone to intrusion," warned Dharma Putra.

Dharma Putra, who heads an environmental study group at Bali's Udayana University supports the initiative to build holding dams on Bali's rivers, calling on local administrators to intensively lobby the National Government to pay more attention to protecting Bali's environment, including its water resources.

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