The shortage of water in Bali presents significant challenges for the hospitality industry. It’s time for hoteliers to take the lead in ensuring that there is enough to go round, says Elizabeth Mistry
There are many words for water on the Indonesian island of Bali. Yeh, the most widely used Balinese term, refers to everyday water. Amerta is the mythical healing water that, according to legend, restored soldiers to life, and tirtha is the term for sacred or holy water—a key element of the many rituals and ceremonies that are an integral feature of daily life for the majority of Balinese people.
However, there has never been a specific policy on the island on how to best manage this most precious of natural resources. A recent report on Water Equity in Tourism (WET), from the UK-based non-governmental organisation Tourism Concern, claims that access to water for ordinary Balinese people has been severely affected by the demands of tourism on the island. It found that rampant development, with little or no regard for environmental stewardship or long-term social impact, placed an enormous and unsustainable strain on the island’s water supply.
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