Badung regency has stopped issuing permits for water wells in southern areas of the district because underground water supplies have been depleted, saltwater is intruding into aquifers and water quality is reducing.
Regency official I Gede Putra Suteja said government agencies had been told to exercise caution over continued calls on underground water.
“We do not have concrete data, but from joint reviews carried out with Udayana University we know that the intrusion of saltwater is now up to 100 metres from the shore. Can you imagine the consequences if the intrusions areas in Kuta begin to connect?
“This is a natural result of the over-exploitation of water resources. Therefore, in the southern regions limitations must be introduced, while in the north water is still available,” he said.
Buildings in the affected areas must now seek connections from the public water utility (PDAM).
But this will cause difficulties since government water is not available in many places.
Suteja acknowledged the lack of piped water, but said he hoped PDAM would be able to tap into water supplies from the Badung and Yeh Penet rivers. He also pointed to plans for the future introduction of desalination facilities to help supplement water supplies.
Adding to concerns over Bali’s growing water crisis, Suteja said: “The situation of saltwater intrusion in Sanur is even more acute.”
As a temporary measure the Badung regent has issued a special regulation requiring every building owner to install absorption tanks to capture rainwater. For every 25 square meters of building area land and building owners must establish a minimum of three absorption holes measuring 10cm wide by 1m deep.
There are no sanctions for non-compliance but Suteja said the rule took effect from April and should be part of every zoning permit issued by the authorities.