Bali, Indonesia: Potable water needed

Updated On: Mar 26, 2009

Despite the fact that Bali province has better clean water facilities compared to other provinces in the country, the region still suffers from water-borne diseases proliferation.  

This remains a threat to the Balinese tourism industry on which this regional economy is dependent on. The past precedent of a a cholera outbreak in 1995 caused a massive drop in tourist numbers.  

Several tourists had also been infected with Salmonella in 2002, caused them to develop diarrhea.  

The challenges of potable water availability arises from the difficulties in reaching to areas without easy access to clean water due to geographic conditions, such as Selat and Bebandem districts in Karangasem regency, and Trunyan village in Bangli regency.  

Outside natural impediments, there was also bureaucratic red tape resulting in coordination challenges that had prevented joint agreement on public works, health and home affairs from being implemented.  

Funding is also an issue for most health agencies at the local levels. Monetary issues are also related to the ability to purchase energy fuels such as kerosene, LPG and wood to treat water.  

The authorities have identified household water treatment and its provision of low-quality water as a major source of diseases. Babies and toddlers are extremely vulnerable.

According to the authorities, Bali has a high diarrhea prevalence of 13 percent on average, compared to the national average of 9 percent.  

It is a practiced here that 81 percent of water was boiled before being consumed.  

There is also a gender element to this issue, according to the authorities. Most women find replacing water gallons too physically demanding, and so feel that duty is up to the men.  

Other than the delivery aspects, availability of potable water may also be challenged by the supply side. Just two years ago, dwindling natural water sources such as the shrinking Lake Buyan was cited as possible future challenges for densely populated Bali.  


De Suriyani, Luh, "Bali needs household water treatment facilities" dated 5 Mar 2009 in the Jakarta Post [downloaded on 17 March 2009], available athttp://www.sea-user.org/news-detail.php?news_id=2470

Fogarty, David, "FEATURE-Shrinking lake highlights Bali's water woes" dated 11 Dec 2007 in the Reuters/Alertnet website [downloaded on 16 March 2009], available at http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/SP117259.htm

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