It’s easy to be an alarmist in Bali, because experience teaches you that there are many things to indeed be alarmed about. Or at least concerned, because a little idea, in the hands of the unscrupulous, can turn into an awful mess.
In the 13 December edition of the local Bali Post is a front page article on the Pecatu Indah Resort’s development plans for their 380 hectares that they call the “New Kuta”. The final paragraph:
“Pecatu Indah Resort juga menggagas proyek pelestarian lingkungan berteknologi Amerika yang akan mengubah New Kuta Beach yang saat pasang terkikis, ditata ulang agar pantainya pertambah lebar 509 meter, sehingga New Kuta Beach yang merupakan fasilitas umum akan bisa dimanfaatkan untuk arena kegiatan olahraga pantai.”
My translation into English: “Pecatu Indah Resort is also considering [or initiating] an environmental conservation program using American technology for the high-tide erosion of New Kuta Beach, in order to extend the beach’s width by 50 meters, so that New Kuta Beach, which is a public beach, can be used for beach sports activities.”
Now, this is just a paragraph in a newspaper article. And anybody who knows anything about the Bukit surf, about big ground swells on spring tides, will roll their eyes. No matter what technology is used, the technical challenges to build a big honking breakwater are formidable. I wouldn’t say it’s impossible, but it will be very costly to do it “right” (that is, to extend the beach*, the overall environmental consequences and the backwash effect on the surf breaks be damned). The developers might try it anyways, probably cutting corners to save costs like they have done elsewhere in Bali, creating a bigger problem than before, that they then walk away from.
Hopefully this is just talk, or if it is more than talk, that sane thinking will prevail, but experience leads one to be skeptical.
* and where would the extra sand come from? The Bukit beaches are coral grain sands. You don’t find this type of sand offshore. That stuff is silty crap, like what was pumped in front of the Tuban beach in south Kuta.