August 14, 2019

* Tank-up!

Now is the time to install a water catchment system or underground water storage tank on your property in order to capture rain that falls in torrents on your roof during the wet season. According to experts from the Center for Environmental Studies (PPLH) at Udayana University, by 2025 Bali is predicted to run out of fresh water because of widespread saltwater intrusion into the water table. This problem is not exclusive to Bali’s poor and arid regions in the north and east. Three of the island’s four lakes suffer from silting and 260 out of its 400 rivers dry up during the dry season. Each day some 3 million liters of fresh water or about 60% of total water consumption in Bali is used by the tourism industry. This unbridled demand puts local residents of our tiny island of 4 million people on a collision course with the tourism industry. Since the main tourist areas are concentrated in the southern districts of Badung, Klungkung, Sanur as well as Buleleng in North Bali, those areas will suffer the most from severe water shortages in the future. Dryness linked to regularly occurring climatic conditions such as the El Nino phenomenon, which create prolonged dry seasons, will only exacerbate the problem. For plans, illustrations and instructions for appropriate, down-to-earth technologies, go to

* Bank Savvy I

If you’re looking to move to Bali and collect income in the process, one option is to transfer a significant amount of money to a local bank and live off the interest. Many expats who live off interest rates alone go around to their bank once a month to collect interest. As far as term deposits go, Indonesia has some of the highest interest rates around. Compared with rates in the U.S., rates offered in Bali can be very attractive depending on which bank you choose. But at the same time, they appear to be running in reverse to U.S. rates where the longer a CD is held the higher the rate paid. In Indonesia, it works backwards. Longer terms generally equate to a lower rate paid, depending upon what the Central Bank and the market are expecting for the future. So stick to short term deposits with 1 month or 3-month rollover as they usually earn the best interest as well as giving you flexibility.

* Food-poisoning

The first symptoms include headaches and dizziness. Bouts of diarrhea or vomiting can mean that you’re losing more fluids and electrolytes than you’re taking in, which leads to dehydration. In severe cases, you can develop serious complications including swelling of the brain, seizures and a life-threatening drop in blood volume. Staying hydrated is the top priority. To replace lost electrolytes and prevent dehydration, drink oral rehydration solutions which are more effective than sports drinks for treating foodborne illnesses. Widely available in Indonesia, even in small and remote warung, Oralit (Rp1000/packet) and Pedialyte (Rp30,000/500 ml) replaces fluids and minerals (such as sodium, potassium) lost due to diarrhea and vomiting, helping to prevent or treat the loss of too much body water (dehydration).

* Construction Know-How

Don’t ever leave a house unoccupied in tropical Bali or you’ll be opening the building up to burglary, damage from storms, falling trees or tree branches and insect infestation. *Termites (rayap) can be prevented by replacing wooden trusses with a metal roof. *Use heavily reinforced earthquake proof columns and beams to support concrete roof structures. *Use aluminum foil insulation underneath roofs to keep buildings cool and prevent leaks if clay tiles shift. *Carry out extensive construction or renovation only in the dry season. *Cover exposed parts of roof with tarpaulins or truck canvases. *Don’t start any project until about a month after Ramadan finishes, allowing time for workers to return to full-time work. *Keep a sharp eye on what’s going on because instructions inevitably get lost in translation. *Don’t assume that a foreign contractor will do a better job than a local outfit. *Because of all the dust, dirt, mess and falling debris, plan on moving out during construction; work crews often start at 5:30 am. *Even if a contractor appears professional, presents detailed drawings, a full contract, has a good website, etc., they can still disappear mid job. *Insist upon talking to and visiting other projects the contractor has completed and visit their office address to make sure that they really do exist. *Don’t give contractors too much money upfront; tight control of payments and constant, knowledgeable supervision are a must. *No project will be trouble free. *Learn from your mistakes.

* Dental Health

You’ll get cavities in your teeth if you eat sweet food, especially the kind you buy from a warung, if you do not clean your teeth. If a cavity starts or if a tooth is hurting, get help right away before the pain gets worse. If you do not fill a cavity, it grows bigger and deeper and costs more to fill. Join the Bali Facebook tourist and expat pages where dentists are asked about and listed nearly every day.

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Copyright © 2019 Bill Dalton
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