Community participation is significant to overcome the Bali Watercrisis, so the Bali Water Protection (BWP) held a meeting with stakeholders on Monday, June 28, 2021. The activity which took place at the Taman Baca Kesiman aimed to provide opportunities for community engagement with and contribution to the water crisis management program.
Research about Water Crisis in Bali
As a movement that is centered around scientific research, BWP started this meeting with various researches on groundwater conditions in Bali. Most of the regencies/cities on this island have water quality problems, including saltwater intrusion in coastal areas and decreased groundwater levels in the highlands of Bali.
The tourism industry is the largest consumer of groundwater; even in 2018, tourist water consumption reached 65% of the total water in Bali. This overconsumption has exploited groundwater on the islandi, thus causing several threats, including a 13.6% water deficit in Bali, drought, seawater intrusion, and declining water quality in all of its districts.
BWP Researchers take water samples at several points to investigate these issues. “The BWP research team found that the decline in water quality mostly occurred in the coastal areas of Bali,” said Dewie, Communication Officer of Bali Water Protection.
Programs to Tackle Water Crisis in Bali
Departing from the problem of water conditions in Bali, BWP facilitates several programs, including ‘Adopt a Well’ which has been carried out in all districts in Bali, ‘Adopt A River’ which provides education related to the value of rivers and water to schools in Bali, and ‘Adopt Water’, which aims to increase public awareness of the importance of preserving groundwater through media. The three programs are in progress and adding more targets to further improve the movement’s goals.
From 2018 to 2021, BWP has targeted the construction of 132 rainwater-fed recharge wells as well as education for elementary school students in 300 schools. “Education about infiltration wells and groundwater conservation is also given to teachers so that later these materials will be implemented in the curriculum”, said Dewa Wira, BWP Program Officer. In addition, the campaign is also being promoted through various media publications and broadcasts, with a target of 15 activities.
There are various methods developed by BWP to increase public awareness of water problems in Bali. Among them is the creation of a documentary in collaboration with Niskala Studio. This documentary will show the degradation of groundwater on the coast of Bali and the decreasing presence of water sources in the West Bali Forest. In addition, several discussions have been held with the community both offline and online because community participation is really needed for groundwater safety in Bali. For this reason, activities to facilitate creative action and engagement such as poster competitions and Photo Stories have been created.
BWP’s past actions and future plans make stakeholders interested in this issue, and many wish to be involved in the movement. “We believe in the importance of educational programs related to the existence of clean water in Bali, so we want to be directly involved in the education process for the community,” said Annisa from Terra Water.
In addition to being involved, research developments are also expected to increase public awareness and knowledge. “If there is, I hope there will be research on surface water quality in Bali,” said Christine. Another suggestion was also given by Windu regarding the results obtained since the construction of dozens of infiltration wells. This information can be obtained directly through the official website of BWP, baliwaterprotection.net.
Stakeholder involvement and support will significantly help the BWP movement to successfully deal with groundwater problems in Bali. Their actions, and of course involvement of the community, is important for the sustainability of the Bali Water Protection movement. (Gd)