Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset [RCBUS] is a member of Rotary International which is an international service organization whose purpose is to bring together community leaders in order to provide humanitarian services and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. One way RCBUS serves this purpose is to implement water projects in various villages in East Bali.
On Sunday, 14 November several members of RCBUS traveled to the village of Seraya in Karangasem to survey the area to determine if it is suitable for another RCBUS water project. Rotary Clubs* in Ubud have implemented 15 water projects since 2007, mainly in East Bali. The villages that received such aid include the lower half of Gulinten Village, Gitgit Village, three projects in Banjar Canguang, 2 projects in Batukeseni, Lipah, Linggawana, a return to Gulinten to add 250 more families to the project, Banjar Aas in Desa Bunutan, Banjar Songis, Beluu, and Kendampal.
Why are such water projects such a high priority to RCBUS? According to the University of Notre Dame’s College of Science, it has been predicted that Bali will experience an extreme water crisis as early as 2025. The island simply cannot meet the rapidly increasing demand for uncontaminated water. The following information is taken from Notre Dame’s study of the water crisis in Bali.
Water contamination is not the only problem. Bali is currently experiencing a falling water table, salt-water intrusion, decreasing river and lake water, and land subsidence, to add to the deteriorating water quality. Several factors are leading the current crisis from bad to worse. These include:
- Bali’s insufficient water infrastructure system
- A changing environment
- Lack of sanitation facilities
Bali lacks infrastructure to handle its growing population. Few residents rely on PDAM, the public water supply, because it only has limited capacity to provide them with properly sanitized water throughout the day. Also, there are only a limited number of water storage units, which is significantly less than the demand. Bali also lacks rainwater harvesting units. This increases the impact that rain has on the area along with the amount of water cross contamination. Communities are not utilizing fresh, clean rainwater in an efficient manner.
Increased development on the island has accelerated changes which impact the water supply. These changes include a loss of agricultural land, deforestation, and climate change. All have significantly reduced Bali’s natural water resources. Bayun Lake, in Bedugul, Northern Bali, is one of Bali’s largest lakes. It has decreased by 11 feet since 2000. Illegal deforestation has destroyed areas of water catchment. Already 65% of Bali’s rivers dry up completely in the dry season.
The lack of proper sanitation and hygiene facilities is restricting access to clean water. Domestic sewage, industrial ground and water pollutants, agricultural runoff, and mismanaged solid waste all contaminate groundwater and surface water systems. Many residents in Indonesia utilize private septic tanks which, when the wet season comes, increase the chances of cross-contamination of sewage with drinking water because with the wet season comes increased flooding.
RCBUS is working to help ease the water crisis in Bali. We are helping connect villages to existing clean water supplies using PCV pipes, gravity, an occasional pump, cooperation from the banjars and a lot of hard work. We have a water harvesting plan ready to implement, but it needs workers and a modest amount of funding. We will, by the end of June 2022, install between 5 and 10 toilets and sinks in Balinese schools to help improve sanitation.
Are you interested in becoming involved with these water projects but feel that membership in RCBUS is not appropriate for you right now? You can volunteer to work on Rotary projects without becoming a member of Rotary. Rotary International states, “You can volunteer to help the Rotary club in one of its initiatives, without becoming a Rotary member. Increasingly clubs are looking at adding value to their community volunteers by forming Rotary Community Corps groups that give added value to its members without the obligations of Rotary membership.”
If you are considering joining RCBUS or one of our many humanitarian projects as a volunteer and would like to attend a meeting to see what we are all about, please contact Marion Hook at email@example.com for more information. We meet every 2nd and last Monday of the month. Meetings begin at 6 pm. Our next meeting will be held on 29 November at Sthala Ubud Bali, a five-star hotel managed by Marriott International. It is located in Lodtunduh Village in Ubud. Our new website is currently under construction. You will be able to read more about RCBUS on our new website shortly.
*Several years ago, there were two Rotary Clubs in Ubud, Rotary Club Ubud and Rotary Club Ubud Sunset. Today, Rotary Club Ubud Sunset or RCBUS is the only club that is remaining and active.