Bali water strategies
Bali water strategies
This is part two of a discussion of the issue of Bali water. See The Future of water in Bali for part one
Bali water storage strategies
Bali, or anywhere there is a rapidly increasing water requirement, simply must introduce Bali water strategies including mandating water storage for Bali hotels and Bali resorts. Houses with pools must have a storage facility with at least the same water capacity of the pool.
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This can be built under the house, the driveway, or under the garden around the pool. Hotels need to build into their foundations some water storage, as well as under roads or pathways.
Now flat plastic water tanks, approximately 50cm wide, are available which are perfect for the walls of a compound. See here for off-the-shelf options and here for custom made metal storage designs (see other photo) that can easily be copied in Bali and can also be used for retaining walls.
This can also be a great water heating option as they will get hot in the daytime and remain at least warm until the following morning, so reducing energy bills.
If a compound is 10 are (1000 square metres), this means, at a minimum, 120 metres of wall, which at 2 metres tall and 50 cm thick will hold 120,000 litres of water, a decent amount although possibly just two or three weeks’ supply for a small Bali hotel.
Not only is this water clean without any of the toxins and contaminants associated with Bali ground water and therefore require minor filtering, collecting this volume of water will reduce local flooding and overloading of the storm water system during heavy rains.
These tanks, which look like a rectangular plastic box, can also be used for internal walls, providing great sound and heat insulation.
These water tanks are much thicker than masonry walls and so valuable area is lost but there are compensations such as insulation, reduced power costs as well as having a stable water supply.
Bali water conservation strategies
The saying ‘a dollar saved is a dollar earned’ is also relevant to water. There are many ways to use existing water more efficiently. Do we really need to flush a toilet after peeing?
Or perhaps putting a couple of bricks in the toilet cistern that will cut two litres per flush? Perhaps using efficient shower heads that reduce water use by 40% might be needed.
Grey water use in Bali
Grey water can and needs to be reused, on gardens and in swimming pools. Dumping shower water in the ocean does not help anybody.
This can be piped into the aforementioned walls and used directly on the garden or pool which has its own filtration system, and can certainly be used in decorative water features.
Grey water can be used directly in toilets – there is no need to use clean water for this purpose. Bali hotels, Bali resorts, Bali restaurants and Bali bars can use waterless men’s urinals which work well without producing unpleasant odours. Some restaurants I know put ice in their urinals that lasts the whole night so flushing is unnecessary.
Mulching gardens properly can save huge amounts of water as a mulched garden retains way more water and so requires less water than a ‘clean’ one. Use the leaves and grass clippings instead of burning them. Scrunching up newspaper in soil helps aerate and retain moisture.
Perhaps even a reverse well can be used to funnel what water that would otherwise go into the storm water drains and out to sea. Dig a well, down to say 25 metres, and slope surrounding area so any stormwater run off goes straight down into the aquafier. This is mentioned in the BWP film below as happily already occurring all over the world.
If it works in reverse (via a pump) there is not reason why this would not work to replenish the water table.
There are many things that can be done to avert what is looming as a disaster for Bali.
In 2015 and 2016 an island wide stormwater drainage system has been installed in Bali which moves stormwater out to sea very quickly which has also added to the problem, as rarely now is floodwaters soaking into the ground as before.
The most important thing required is to recognise that there is a problem with the consumption-as-usual paradigm.
By Mark O’Brien, November 2014, updated August 2016
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