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Groundwater exploitation must be controlled: Expert
August 5th, 2010

Wasti Atmodjo, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar | Wed, 08/04/2010 10:37 AM | Bali

The local administration office must strictly regulate groundwater management in order to curb excessive exploitation by hotels and industries, an expert says.

Sudirman, Environmental Management Center of Bali and Nusa Tenggara region head, said excessive exploitation of groundwater could lead to devastating environmental impacts. He criticized the regulation, saying at present the administration had only issued a letter advising industries to limit their groundwater consumption.

“This action is too weak. It has no legal grounds. The local authority needs to issue a bylaw on the exploitation of ground water,” Sudirman said.

The exploitation of groundwater is deemed massive, exceeding storage capacity. Due to limited clean water supplies delivered by the province’s water company, many hotel and tourist-related establishments turn to artesian wells to meet their water supply needs.

“The use of groundwater in many hotels has already gone beyond the capacity of the island’s water storage,” he said.

Bali has more than 15,000 hotel rooms including villas, newly built apartments and commercial lodging houses.

“Such excessive exploitation has threatened clean water supplies for domestic households. But, more importantly, such activities will damage the environment,” added Sudirman.

Based on a survey by the Udayana University in Denpasar, Bali experienced a water deficit of 1.5 billion cubic meters in 1995. Five years later in 2000, the water deficit reached 7.5 billion cubic meters.

By 2015, Bali is expected to face a dramatic water deficit of 27.6 billion cubic meters.

To reduce ground water usage among hotels, the center has established joint work with the Bali Hotel Association.

The two institutions control and monitor groundwater usage by 18 star-rated hotels in South Badung, Denpasar and Ubud in Gianyar.

The Center also involved 10 star-rated hotels in West Nusa Tenggara province. Water usage in participating hotels would be closely monitored in terms of the amount of real water used for bathing and other activities.

“We have to match the water amount allowed in their operation permits with the real consumption of water every day,” he added.

Many hotels violated the water usage permits by digging and using more groundwater to meet their increasing demands.

Monitoring activities will also include water treatment plants and waste treatment, and monitoring hotels’ roles in improving their local communities and environment.


Source http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/08/04/groundwater-exploitation-must-be-controlled-expert.html

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