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.

bali water strategies slim tank

At 2 metres tall and 60cm wide, these water tanks hold 1000 litres a metre. A 100 metre compound wall can store 100,000 litres, great for a villa complex.

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 strategies water tanks

Custom made water tanks like this make great insulating walls for compounds or houses.

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

Watch Bali Water Crisis – The Time to Act Is NOW! and BWP (Bali Water Protection) CrowdfundingFilm

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Melodie Joyce July 21, 2016 at 8:54 am

Hello I was wondering the cost of one of these tanks? And where they are available from? Thankyou Melodi

admin July 21, 2016 at 5:05 pm

I do not know in Bali where to find them or how much.

Julien August 4, 2016 at 12:52 pm

Very good article! Lots covered there from the individual (households) to businesses (hotels) and bigger entities. As very well described, avoiding the water crisis in Bali will require action from everyone. IDEP foundation and their Bali Water Protection program will call for everyone's attention to protect bali's freswater. The project in 6 minutes : And if anyone wish to help:

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