Indonesia: 'Embung' and rain suggested to save water

Arya Dipa and Slamet Susanto, The Jakarta Post 15 Aug 15;

Agencies and experts have recommended methods to preserve water to deal with the prolonged drought and cope with the impacts of it in the long run.

West Java Water Resource Management Agency head Edi Nasution said that his office would build a number of artificial lakes, locally called embung, to store water reserves.

Other measures included dredging Padawaras embung in southern Tasikmalaya, which covered 80 hectares.

“We have to carry out dredging because it is experiencing silting. We need some Rp 7 billion (US$538,461) to do so,” Edi said on Thursday.

He said that the embung could supply water to 1,800 hectares of paddy out of its total capacity of irrigating 2,500 hectares of paddy.

In Yogyakarta, micro-hydro expert Agus Maryono proposed a way to “harvest” rain during the rainy season to help restore ground water.

Agus said the method, in which unused rainwater was channeled to infiltration wells, made use of the abundant supply of water during the rainy season in reservoirs and prevented flooding.

Agus said that the method had been applied in a number of developed countries, including Germany.

Drought during the dry season, according to Agus, occurred because ground water dries up on account of damage to water catchment areas, namely forests.

“That’s why we need to make water catchment areas, in this case infiltration wells,” Agus said.