Devastating Effects on Siladen Island: Drought and Water Depletion

Roughly every 5 years, an event takes place in the vast Pacific Ocean that changes weather patterns worldwide. El Nino is a phenomenon that causes warming in the equatorial Pacific, along with changes in atmospheric pressure and trade wind strength. This event is naturally occurring, however due to climate change, they are becoming more regular, and stronger. 2014-2016 saw one of the strongest events on record, and with effects being noted around the world. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia saw some parts of the reef destroyed by bleaching, and many parts of Africa, the Americas and Asia saw drought. Indonesia was hit particularly badly by the dry conditions, with wildfires taking over many parts of Borneo and Sumatra.

A Ray of Hope: The Return of Rain to Siladen Island

Anybody staying with us during 2015 will remember how dry it was. We went over 8 months without a single drop of rain. This caused many of the plants to shed their leaves, while others could not make it before the rains arrived. The islands fresh water supply got lower and lower, until it eventually hit the salt water layer below. Fast-forward to 2016, and you will see an entirely different island. After the El Nino weakened, the rains came back, bringing the plants back to life with them. While the rain was refreshing for the plants, it was not enough to top up the islands fresh water reserve.

Tackling Water Scarcity: Implementing Desalination Technology

Aside from leafless trees and scorched earth, the severity of the drought was most noticeable by the salinity of the tap water. While doing everything we could to preserve the fresh water we had, it wasn’t enough. Planning, building and installing a desalination system has been one of our major projects for nearly one year now, and although it took a bit of trial and error to get everything working as we wanted, we are now pleased to announce that most of the resort (including all guest rooms) now has 100% fresh water.

This system works by reverse osmosis, and can produce 10000 litres of fresh water a day. Now this one is up and running, we will begin work on our next system, which we are hoping will be able to produce up to 15000 litres per day, so you will never need to take a salty shower in Siladen again!