The Freshwater Palasari Reservoir at Ekasari Village, in the Melaya District of Jembrana Regency, West Bali, is slowly running dry. The emptying reservoir results from Bali’s prolonged dry season and the uncontrolled cutting of forest trees surrounding the facility.
Data shared by detik.com describes the reservoir as formed behind a dam that is 350 meters long. The water containment area, at its height, can cover 100 hectares with a total water capacity of 8 million cubic meters. The adjacent irrigation area covers 1,300 hectares.
The Jembrana Regency Agricultural Agency Chief I Komang Ngurah Arya Kusuma said the reservoir’s water volume depletion began two months ago.
The reservoir is a popular tourist attraction in the Jembrana Regency.
Illegal Logging in Jembrana Causing Local Unrest
The reservoir’s water depletion is threatening agricultural production in the region. Three traditional “subak” (water distribution systems) that irrigate farmlands are experiencing water shortages, preventing routine rice crop planting. On Sunday, 01 October 2023, Kusuma said farmers are delaying planting the next rice crop while awaiting seasonal rains.
The Head of the Water Resources Division at the Department of Public Works (PUPRPKP) in Jembrana, Gede Sugianta, explained that water quantities at the Palasari Reservoir decline yearly during Bali’s dry season. Sugianara said illegal logging activities are aggravating the current water deficit problem.
Other reservoirs in the area, including the Bendel Dam, also suffer water deficits.
Kusuma called on the public to cease illegal logging activities to ensure a supply of fresh water in the future for Jembrana.