The water quality in the rivers of the Gianyar region of Bali has deteriorated markedly in 2011, reports The Bali Post.
High pollution levels in the Ayung and Pakerisan Rivers pose a threat to the numerous rafting operators and tourism business situated along their banks.
Bali Post reported on December 8, 2011, that the drop in water quality is based on surveys conducted by the provincial government, including the headways and crossing points in the various regencies of Bangli, Gianyar, Badung and Denpasar – and including the final product as it empties into the ocean.
Particularly bad news for water sports operators were results that saw the water quality of the Ayung River has been officially downgraded from “Class II” - suitable for water-sports to “Class III” - suitable for agriculture. Officials postulate the higher levels of pollution now being recorded are due to a number of causes, including erosion, agriculture, tourism, trash disposal and pesticides.
Results for the Pakerisan River also reveal a similar level of pollution from its headwaters to the seas. Earning a “Class III” classification, the Pakerisan river has traditionally been a favored source of drinking water because of more than 15 different tributaries – including the historically sacred water sources that flow through Tirta Empul and Tirta Dukun.
The Pakerisan River passes through areas traced back to the earliest settlement of Bali, flowing through a treasure-trove of ancient historical and cultural sites.
Separately, the chief of the Gianyar Environmental Agency section for the Supervision and Pollution Eradication Department, IB Sukarya, does not deny the polluted condition of the two major river ways. In fact, his office is currently looking into the Wos, Petanu and Sungasng Rivers to ascertain their current state of pollution.
The Environmental Agency cites changing land use practice, the poor use of land, declining open spaces available for the absorption of rainfall, erosion, uncontrolled trash disposal and a lack of law enforcement as among the major causes for Bali’s blighted rivers.
The Ginayat Environmental Agency is involved in ongoing efforts to educate local communities on how to reduce and eliminate pollution. They have also recently assisted in the planting of 100 hectares of bamboo forests in the headwater areas of the Pakerisan River.
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