Dozens of Rivers Polluted: Study

DENPASAR ~At least 21 major rivers in Bali are polluted, according to the results of new research released this week, with most of the pollutants coming from homes and industry.

Bali has a total of 162 rivers, according to the government’s environmental agency.

The 21 rivers subject to the study, carried out by the Science Faculty of Udayana University and the agency, flow through the island’s eight regencies, agency chief AA Alit Sastrawan told The Bali Times on Wednesday.

He cautioned, however, that the rivers were “not badly polluted” but said that swift action was required.

“The pollution has not yet reached critical limits, but we must increase awareness of the problem and start working to clean up these rivers,” he said.

Among the pollutants were waste materials from homes and factories, containing oil, phosphates, nitrates, cadmium, lead and bacteria, he said.

“These materials are shown by looking at the levels of oxygen in the water and also the amount of oxygen required for biological and chemical systems,” Sastrawan said.

“If demand for oxygen for biological and chemical processes is high, that means there’s a lot of pollutants in the river. On the other hand, if the level of oxygen is high, that’s a good thing to have.”

Human demand for water, and an island-wide construction boom, was exacerbating the problem.

“Water needs these days have greatly increased, and this takes a lot of water from the earth, not to mention the use of land, which reduces its ability to absorb water,” he said, adding that the agency was working with the local authorities to encourage people to plant more trees.


Most Polluted Rivers

River Medewi, Jembrana

River Yeh, Jembrana

River Balian, Tabanan

River Sungi, Tabanan

River Mati, Badung

River Badung, Denpasar

River Ayung, Gianyar

River Pakerisan, Gianyar

River Petanu, Gianyar

River Saba, Buleleng

River Jinah, Klungkung

River Unda, Klungkung

Source: Bali environmental agency.

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