Water Conservation,  Water Management

Regional Autonomy Obstruct Watershed Management

The watershed is categorized as a healthy watershed that can be seen from its sustainability factor. Sustainability in question is when the dry season of the watershed is not drought and if the rainy season the watershed will not flood.  Both risks, both drought or flood, can be minimized if the watershed management is going well.  Watershed management will run well if the management is in accordance with the principle of one river one plan one management or in other words centralized in one stream.  But in reality, in the management of watersheds there is also a Law on Regional Autonomy.  As we know that the Regional Autonomy Law is a privilege of a regency or city area to regulate and manage its own government affairs and the interests of the local community.  The existence of regional autonomy is considered to be an obstacle in watershed management.  An example is the case of flooding in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Floods that hit the city of Jakarta in every rainy season are considered by some experts to be caused not only by the behavior of residents there who throw garbage in the river or because of reduced river border due to the many settlements around the river.  However, the main cause of floods that hit Jakarta was the large surface run off from the upstream area.  Jakarta is located downstream of the Ciliwung watershed, whose upstream part is located in Bogor Regency, West Java.  Surface run off that is too big from Bogor Regency is what causes Jakarta to always flood when the rainy season. Reducing the impact of flooding in Jakarta is minimizing the amount of surface Run Off.  Surface run-off must be reduced by making water catchments so that water can enter the ground.  One of the water catchments is trees planted in the upstream area.  When it rains, rain water will seep into the ground through the roots of trees.  The water which is then referred to as ground water will be stored as a reserve when the dry season arrives.  In fact, trees in the upstream area of the Ciliwung watershed have been cut down to become tourist resorts.  As a result, of course, when it rains, no rainwater is stored on the ground and flows directly to a lower place, namely the Jakarta area. 

The existence of regional autonomy owned by Bogor Regency makes Jakarta not much to do anything.  The policy to stop development in the upstream area will be countered by the fact that development in the upstream area as tourism has brought economic impacts to Bogor Regency.  This is where the watershed management will be hampered.  This has become one of the weaknesses of watershed management in Indonesia.

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