Irrigation Water in Bali Shared for Other Needs


An observer of agricultural matters of Udayana University, Prof Dr Wayan Windia, judged that irrigation water in Bali now starts to be divided for the needs of making bottled water, PDAM (water company) main water resource, tourism and other factory needs.

“Irrigation water for agricultural needs whose channels through residential area now contain many pollutants as people throw plastic waste and various used goods randomly into the river and irrigation channels,” said Prof Windia who is also Head of Subak research center of Udayana University in Denpasar, on Sunday.

He said that the irrigation water containing waste and polluted really distract the rice field so that rice production in the rice field can’t be done maximally.

“Everywhere farmers complain about waste and pollution but there is never a solution, as long as people are not aware and there is low involvement of people in environment cleanliness and preservation,” said Prof Windia.

He explained that the organization of subak system in Bali also start to be weak, with the elimination of sedahan-agung function in each regencies/ city.

In fact, Sedahan Agung has a function as subak system protecting agency, which directly under a Regent/ Mayor.

There is no more special organization (like Sedahan Agung) that works on all needs or complaints from subak.

Actually, Balinese farmers really love their rice fields. They are aware that rice fields are their ancestor’s inheritance that must be preserved.

“An heirloom is at risk to be sold. However they perforce have to sell their rice field. Maybe because they are not able to stand from the strong social-economy pressure,” said Prof Windia.

The main pressure suffered by subak farmers is the low income. The farmers who plant one hectare of rice paddy only get Rp2 million per month or Rp8 millions per planting season.

“The income certainly can’t afford the family needs including paying for children school fees, as well as the land and building tax (PBB) that is very burdensome for farmers,” said Prof Windia.

Filed under: The Island

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