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Madé, Row the Boat Ashore

Villagers at Lake Beratan Limit Powerboat Usage to Reduce Lake Pollution

(4/5/2013) Pollution of Lake Beratan in the regency of Tabanan, Bali is becoming a subject of increasing concern. Testing carried out by the Tabanan Environmental Agency (KLH) have confirmed that the waters of the Lake are polluted.

According to the Bali Post, one of the suspected sources of pollution on the lake is leakage of fuels from speedboats.  And, while the levels of pollution remain relatively low, environmentalists say the level of pollution warrants concern and monitoring.

The chief of KLH Tabanan, A.A. Ngurah Raka Icwara, explained that his agency routinely inspects the condition of Lakre Beratan’s water with tests carried out at least one every three months. Tests carried out in April 2012 showed that generally the quality of the water on Lake Beratan was not overly polluted.

Those water tests showed water quality was still categorized as “class 1” with the exception of measurements for dissolved oxygen (DO). That pollution found on the lake was traced by environmentalists to the fuel leaking from speedboats operating on the lake.

Icwara said: “The concern is that pollution is coming from speedboats.” Follow up tests are now being scheduled to determine if pollution is worsening. Meanwhile, traditional villagers living on the edge of the lake are refusing efforts to add more powerboats to the lake.

Villagers insist that the high use of powerboats is having negative effects on the local ecosystem of the lake that is considered sacred by many Balinese. Villagers are therefore suggesting that only paddleboats be allowed to operate on the lake.

The chief of the traditional village of Candikuning, Made Susila Putra, told of how a villa operating on the lake has been refused permission to operate a powerboat on the lake, limiting powerboats to the 20 or so currently operating on the lake.