Drinking water in Raja Ampat

Water from the well. Sawinggrai, Gam Island, Raja Ampat
  • The drinking water supplied at most Raja Ampat homestays is commercial drinking water in 20 litre containers.
  • Some remote homestays still use boiled water from local supplies. Is it safe to drink? Yes!

You don’t need to worry about your drinking water supply if you’re staying at a Raja Ampat homestay. All of Raja Ampat’s inhabited islands have ready access to fresh water from springs and/or wells. (Note that Kri is not an inhabited island.)

There is however, a shortage of plumbing – water at many places is transported by hand. Fresh water for bathing is usually transported in large drums. It can be a lot of work to keep you supplied, so go easy on those dip mandi bucket baths – especially if your homestay’s one of those on a “dry” island where all your water comes in by boat.

At some homestays, your drinking water might be from the same source as the water for bathing, but is properly boiled and placed in recycled plastic bottles or 20 litre containers. It’s perfectly safe and by far the best option for the Raja Ampat environment.

Bottled drinking water in Raja Ampat

There’s no safe waste disposal or recycling in Raja Ampat. Please bring your own reusable bottles with you for filling rather than to resort to purchasing bottled water.

Quite aside from the negative environmental impact of the manufacture, distribution and disposal of plastic water bottles, transporting water all the way out to the islands uses cargo space and fuel that would be better devoted to bringing goods the local community actually needs.

It’s sad to see bottled water use becoming the norm in the Raja Ampat islands: See our news article about the growing rubbish problem in the islands, the reasons behind it and ways to make sure you don’t inadvertently contribute to the problem.


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  1. Gabi on

    Considering the costs of transporting 20l gallons, I have the feeling that if homestays had a different price for boiled water, people might be more inclined to it. Though maybe it is not that easy to control who drinks what? I am impressed with this site by the way. Great information so far, Raja Ampat might hopefully avoir the “dead kiss” from mass irresponsible tourism.

    1. Hi Gabi

      Homestays provide drinking water free of charge, and almost none boil water any more. Buying the commercial product is better from the safety, palatability, and convenience perspectives. Thanks for your kind words about the site. 🙏 If Raja Ampat’s community based tourism ventures are supported and remain successful, then there simply won’t be land available to build the kind of facilities that the mass tourism market needs. 🤞

  2. Salla on

    I am shocked that commercial water is becoming a norm on the islands. It is such a waste to bring water in plastic bottles when it can be boiled. And it is such a shame that people are demanding bottled water. I will demand, or at least ask very politely, boiled, local water.

  3. Detlef Schwoon on

    Hi everybody. Hi will stay at Yenkoranu on the Island of Kri in February. Kri has natural drinking water? I can’t believe that, because Kri is very small. Or is it ground water? And they boilt it?
    Cheers Detlef

    P.S. By the way. A big compliment for the Homepage and the easy way of booking the Homestay. I sent a request and after 4 hours I got a conformation… Bloody fast…

    1. Thanks Detlef :)

      There are no villages on Kri because of a lack of fresh water. The groundwater available there is too salty to drink, but is used for washing and bathing. The demand for bottled water from guests has resulted in almost all homestays (not just the Kri ones) now purchasing 20 litre bottles of commercial drinking water.

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