TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Bintan island, a tourist resort in Riau Islands Province, is prone to water crisis annually, because of poor water management and prolonged drought, according to an ecology expert, Kherjuli.
"Water reserves managed by the (province-owned water supplier (PDAM) Tirta Kepri is inadequate to meet the local people's demands, while in the same time, the company has poor management system of clean water distribution," Kherjuli said on Sunday.
Bintan island has two water reserves operated by PDAM Tirta Kepri in Sei Pulai Gesek. However, both reservoirs could turn into dry reserves when a long drought occurs for one to two months only.
Apart of prolonged drought, water catchment areas nearby the two reservoirs have severely declined due to a high rate of deforestation, he remarked.
The 60,057-kilometer square Bintan island is one of most popular tourist destination in Riau Islands Province, as it offers several upscale resorts and diverse water sports. Due to its popularity, many water catchment areas have to be turned into resorts and other infrastructure to attract more tourist arrivals into the island.
In an effort to ease the water scarcity, Kherjuli suggested the provincial government to accelerate the Kawal dam construction and turn the Busung strait into a natural water catchment area.