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In celebration of Earth Day, a collaboration between PT Surya Utama Nuansa (SUN Energy) and Batur UNESCO Global Geopark with the installation of solar-powered Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis (BWRO) was inaugurated on 22 April 2021. The usage of reverse osmosis technology marks a significant first step for sustainable environmental conservation, especially in view of Lake Batur as a natural heritage site and as one of the main reservoirs providing water for the majority of people on the island of Bali.
Previously, the water quality of Lake Batur was unsuitable for consumption due to the presence of chemical substances. The main causes of this pollution and silting are the rapid increase of the population rate, the high volume of agricultural activity around Lake Batur, as well as indiscriminate household waste disposal.
“The Batur UNESCO Global Geopark would like to open a new era of tourism in 2021 by implementing energy conservation through the use of solar power which enables the processing of lake water into drinking water to meet the clean water needs of the people around Lake Batur. We collaborate with SUN Energy to provide water management technology for Lake Batur. We are obliged to always prioritize environmental conservation, education, and the welfare of the community around Lake Batur as a high-value geological heritage.” said Gede Wiwin Suyasa – Director of Batur UNESCO Global Geopark Management Office.
With Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis (BWRO) technology, lake water is filtered using a reverse osmosis membrane pump which can filter out metal ions contained in lake water. This water filtration system uses solar energy to power pumps and filters, ensuring a more efficient and environmentally friendly solution. Within four hours of operation, BWRO engines can produce as much as 1,200 liters of clean water. This technology is a way to develop Lake Batur to be a source of clean water that will benefit surrounding communities. One month on, about 4,500 people have benefited from the BWRO, with about 270,000 liters of water purified.
A representative from SUN Energy, I Made Aditya Suryawidya, Head of Business Solution, said that renewable energy plays an important role in sustainable development. “Our 2.7 kWp solar panel system enables the operation of the water pump and filter of Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis (BWRO), which produces potable water with TDS (total dissolved solids) concentration of 10-20 ppm (parts per million). According to the regulation issued by the Indonesian Ministry of Health, the guideline for drinking water TDS level must be below 500 ppm,” he said.
I Made Aditya Suryawidya added that SUN Energy is immensely proud to be able to contribute to and support environmental conservation programs such as this. SUN Energy hopes the use of solar energy in Bali will increase in the future. “In addition to the BWRO technology, we want the surrounding community to see the potential of solar power for agricultural activities around Lake Batur,” he said.
As a way of contributing to the local community in Kintamani, SUN Energy’s CSR program enables access to clean and drinkable water from Batur Sacred Lake to 48 temples located across the villages in Kintamani, Bali. In the future, they will be able to get water refills for free. In addition, SUN Energy has also provided technical training to 53 members of the Batur UNESCO Global Geopark Youth Forum about the BWRO and the role that youths can have in sustainable development, especially in solar power. This program is intended to instill in the next generation of leaders the importance of protecting the environment for a sustainable future.
Ni Ketut Rahayu Ningsih, one of the members of the Batur UNESCO Global Geopark Youth Forum, said that this event helped to raise the awareness of young people to care more about nature, especially with the goal of preserving Lake Batur, which is a Bangli gem. “Through the training session which was organized by SUN Energy, I can say that I and other young members participated in Indonesia Emas 2045 (a movement to develop Indonesia into an advanced nation by 2045) and continuously campaigned to save our earth.”