Groundwater Utilization Must Observe Environmental Balance

MINISTRY OF ENERGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA

PRESS RELEASE

NUMBER: 683.Pers/04/SJI/2019

Date: 28 November 2019

Groundwater Utilization Must Observe Environmental Balance

Groundwater is a renewable resource, but if we don't manage it properly by observing the balance between its absorption and extraction, it will be depleted.

"Groundwater plays an important role in a variety of purposes, thus its utilization must observe the balance and the conservation of resources, something we call 'environmentally friendly'," said Advisor to Minister of EMR for Economy and Natural Resources, Sampe L. Purba, in his remarks at the Groundwater Talk Show titled "Well-Conserved Groundwater, Well-Off Farmers " in Surabaya, Thursday (28/11).

Through this talk show, Center for Groundwater and Environmental Geology, Geological Agency, Ministry of EMR, wants to disseminate the policy on groundwater utilization for farming and to find the solutions to deal with the issue of groundwater utilization for irrigation in East Java Province.


On the same occasion, Head of EMR Service Office of East Java Province, Setiajit, raise the subject of decreasing volume of surface groundwater. "For example, several water springs in Malang were initially quite large, but the volume is now decreasing. This means we have to conserve the environment, we also have to guard our forests," he said.

The water resource, including groundwater, is used for various human activities, such as daily household need, industrial activities, farming, fishery, and the service sector support.

In farming, the majority of water used is from rain water, river/reservoir water, and groundwater obtained by making bore wells.

Demand for groundwater is currently huge, for basic needs, households, industries, and farming. In the past, surface water was quite abundant and in good quality; rivers even flew steadily throughout the year.

Presently, most Indonesian farmers water their fields by using irrigation water from surface/reservoir water.

In a number of Indonesia areas where surface water is lacking, farmers use water from bore wells.

The over-extraction of groundwater more than its replenishment will lead to groundwater decreases. In Madiun--in particular in Balerejo area--the level of groundwater decreases by 20 m within a 12 year period (between 2007 and 2019).

Meanwhile in Sragen Regency--within a three year observation period (2016-2019)--the groundwater does not decrease although many farmers use groundwater.

Besides the huge consumption of groundwater, the resources of groundwater has also been degraded. Water comes down from the sky directly into the ground. Now, only little water is absorbed by the soil, and thus, only limited volume of it becomes great surface water.

This indicates that the water potential in each area is different, so the policy on groundwater utilization for irrigation must be regulated according to the groundwater potential. This way, groundwater will be conserved for the current and future generations. (IY)

Head of Bureau of Communication, Public Information Services, and Cooperation

Agung Pribadi (08112213555)