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Water - Our most precious resource

It was Arthur C Clarke who noted how inappropriate it was to call this planet ‘Earth’, when it is quite
clearly mostly ‘ocean’. Bawah Reserve is surrounded by endless miles of ocean, with all the
abundant beauty of its coral reefs, fish and other marine life. It does not rain very often on Bawah,
so we have a challenge to source fresh water in the most environmentally resourceful way. We are
also careful to use water efficiently, and to protect the ocean from our waste water.

 

Bawah-reserve-medium-res-3951

There are three sources of fresh water for the island: rainwater, groundwater, and a desalination
plant.

Rainwater

green leaf rain droplets nature

Rainwater is collected from the roofs of staff accommodation blocks and other back of house
buildings (approximately 2000 m 2 of roofing) and carefully stored underground for later use for
sanitation purposes. The existing water-harvesting tank can store 70 m3 of rainwater which can add
a substantial supply of water in the rainy seasons, with an additional rainwater collection tank
planned for the future.

 

Groundwater

Groundwater was used during the construction phase of Bawah, and it has been determined that
the water table now needs to be allowed to replenish for at least another three years.

 

Drinking water

Bawah-reserve-medium-res-2896

Drinking water is created using a desalination plant. This plant removes salt and other impurities
from seawater and works using reverse osmosis, and micro filtration.

Bawah-reserve-medium-res-2253

 

Drinking water is given an additional filtration at restaurants and bars before being served either as carbonated or non-carbonated water.

A nano filtration system is in the process of being installed. Once operational,
this system will be used to convert rainwater and groundwater into drinkable water.
Water meters have been installed across the island to measure consumption, including the canteen,
laundry, and kitchen area. Monthly summary reports on consumption are now being analysed to
identify possible efficiency savings.

 

Wastewater 

Bawah-reserve-medium-res-4891 (1)
All waste water is collected and pumped to a series of sewage treatment areas: aerobic, non-
aerobic, filtration system including UV, biological pond, and a reed bed system. The reeds are
collected on a regular basis and shredded for compost. Treated water is used for irrigation and toilet
flushing, and any excess is sent to groundwater.

 

It is also of vital importance for the health of the coral and marine environment to avoid nitrate run-
off into the ocean, from waste water generated onsite, and to avoid use of reef damaging chemicals.
The Anambas Foundation are overseeing a new irrigation system in part of Bawah’s forest area
which has been identified as being at risk of soil degradation. 150 young trees have been grown to
be planted once they reach 1.5 meters.

IMG_2382

A range of Bawah branded, locally made ‘reef-friendly’ sun
screen and other products are available, which do not contain reef damaging chemicals. The
Laundry, Housekeeping and Spa also use products selected for their low environmental impact.


“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever” Jacques Yves Cousteau.

At Bawah, we aim to protect and conserve water, as it is our most precious resource.

 

Start your sustainable journey to Bawah Reserve here: 

 

ENQUIRY

 

Jon Woodhead is Director of Challenge Sustainability, an international sustainability advisory firm
working to develop the sustainability programme for Bawah Reserve.
www.challengesustainability.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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