For many, a mention of the island of Bali calls up images of people playing in the pounding surf, bathing in waterfalls surrounded by verdant jungle, and farmers tending to intricate rice terraces. These images describe a traditional paradise, where the healthy relationship between the island’s more than four million inhabitants and the natural resources around them provides a balanced life of plenty. We at Fivelements are inspired by these images that we see daily but, increasingly, we are also alarmed by a more complex modern reality on the paradise island.
Looking at water specifically, we see a culture reknowned for its ingenious management of fresh water for irrigation, aquaculture, and for luxurious water gardens. The keys to the success of this traditional system are the renewable nature of the resource and the egalitarian method of distribution. For centuries the natural holding tanks of volcanic lakes and underground aquifers have stored monsoon rains for use in drier months and the unparalleled traditional Subak system has distributed this water fairly across the island. This ancient system is still in operation but available water resources are now increasingly also used by less regulated and often thirstier private wells.
REFILL BALI is a worldwide initiative that has arrived in Bali, and Fivelements is delighted to announce that it has joined the green movement. REFILL BALI offers a map of places where travellers and residents can refill their water bottles with safe, filtered water for free.
Ranging from retreats, restaurants, cafes and warungs, galleries and shops, participating businesses are delighted to provide free (or low-cost) drinking water.
At Fivelements, we offer free water to any guest who brings their own water bottle, as well as providing retreat guests with their own water bottles.