INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR INDRAGIRI SUB-RIVER BASIN IN WEST SUMATRA, INDONESIA
by Rudi Febriamansyah
Improving water management has become an important agenda in Indonesia since the fall of Soeharto in 1998. Conflict over water and other problems of water management like floods, water pollution and drought are common problems that exist almost at all parts of Indonesia. In this regard, the government of Indonesia has announced a reformation of water policy by adapting the concept of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) that performing a river basin as a unit of management. However, there is still a big question of how to translate this concept into practice. One of the practices is the establishment of Balai Pengelolaan Sumber Daya Air (or the center of water resource management) at the provincial level. In West Sumatera, there are two Balai has been established in 2001, and one of them, Balai PSDA Kuantan Indragiri, is stated as a main priority to be developed. As a new institution for effective water management in this province, there is still a question of what the model or working programs to be done, and how is the role sharing of water resource management among stakeholders. This paper will explore the issues of water management and role sharing in this sub basin and propose an institutional development to enhance the role of Provincial Water Council, Balai and other government agencies.
Physically, conflict over water as a common resource is mainly caused by a lack of supply compared to demand, either in quantity or in quality. When the amount of water is not enough to satisfy all users, conflict will occur among them if there is no regulation controlling water use. Powerful users, in terms of their socio-economic status, can easily manipulate the use of water for their own benefit, while the rest may have to do with poorer or no service.
In the case of water resource in a river, conflict over water may occur between upstream and downstream users at international, national, regional or even local levels. In terms of the users, conflict may occur between the government and farmers, farmers and farmers, or between the government, farmers, industries and environments. Issues on river basin management include water pollution, land degradation of catchment area, floods and the maintenance of infrastructures along the river as well. Conflict over water and related problems in water management occur mainly in the absence of consistent regulations, responsible institutions and also the role-sharing pattern of all stakeholders (Febriamansyah, 2003)
In West Sumatera, Indonesia, the efforts to improve the water resource management at basin level have been done by establishing two centers for water resources management in 2001, namely Balai PSDA Kuantan Indragiri and Balai PSDA Batang Hari. Moreover, Water Council for Provincial level (namely Dewan Daerah Sumberdaya Air or DDSDA) has also been announced last September. Those two institutions are still questioning the model or working programs for water resource management in this province. A study has been done to explore the real issues of water resource management and role sharing at the region of Balai PSDA Kuantan Indragiri1. Based on the existing issues in the region and the current capacity of Balai PSDA, a main recommendation from this study is to rationalize the activity of Balai PSDA for one sub basin, that is Indragiri Subbasin.
1 The study entitled “Study on Water Resource Management and Role Sharing in the Region of Balai PSDA Kuantan Indragiri, Sumatera Barat”.
This paper will explore the issues of water management and role sharing in this sub basin and propose an institutional development to enhance the role of Dewan Daerah, Balai dan other government agencies.
Overview of the basin
Indragiri subbasin is one of four subbasins in the region of Balai PSDA Kuantan Indragiri. Figure 1 below shows the geographic position of those four subbasins. Although the Indragiri subbasin is the second largest in the region (> 7,500 km2), this subbasin consists only one main river that flows down to another province, Riau province. Indragiri subbasin is located in the upstream part of Kuantan River Basin.
There are ten district areas within this subbasin, five districts of kabupaten (Agam, 50 Kota, Solok, Sawahlunto/Sijunjung, and Tanah Datar) and five districts of city (Payakumbuh, Bukittinggi, Padang Panjang, Sawahlunto and Solok). The sub basin could be divided into 24 sub-sub basins of small rivers that flow to the main river (River of Kuantan). Figure 2 below shows the area of those sub-subbasins within Indragiri sub basin.
Issues on Water Resource Management
Issues on water resource management within the Indragiri subbasin has been focused on
the issues related to the function of Balai PSDA within this region. The water
management problems identified in this study at least consists of five important aspects:
(a) the management of inter-district irrigation systems,
(b) water allocation issues along the river and also within one irrigation system,
(c) river infrastructure maintenance,
(d) floods and catchment management, and
(e) the degradation of water quality due to the pollution of domestic and industrial uses.
A Map at Figure 3 shows the location of specific issues within the basin.
Issues on Role-Sharing in Water Management
Conflict of interest among stakeholders of water resource management within the basin related to the existence of regulations, institutions and role sharing pattern among them. Basically, the idea to perform the management system on the basis of one river has been explored nationally. Moreover, a new paradigm to shift the pattern of development from centralism to decentralism system has been accepted and declared legally in Law No. 22/1999. At present, although the Law about Water Resource Management has not been formally accepted, some points in regard to the river basin management has been agreed by all fractions at the People Representative (DPR RI).
Following the paradigm of decentralization, the existing Balai PSDA Kuantan Indragiri as a technical unit of Dinas PSDA Sumatera Barat2 that was established in 2001 based on the Kepmendagri3 No.179/1996 has also been considered to be developed for better water management in this province. However, as the conflict of interest still occurs in regard to the decentralization processes from the provincial to the district governments, all stakeholders in this basin are still questioning the role of Balai PSDA.
2 provincial agency for water resource management under the Department of Kimpraswil (Dept of Settlement and Regional Infrastructures)
3 Kepmendagri means a Decree of Ministry of Home Affairs.
According to Kepmendagri No.179/1999, the role of Balai PSDA includes 9 (nine) aspects of water management:
- inter district irrigation management,
- water allocation for all users,
- river management,
- lake, reservoir and springs,
- flood and drough control,
- water pollution control,
- delta and estuaries.
These nine aspects are too broad for a new institution like Balai PSDA that still lack of human resources. It is hard to expect Balai to work for all aspects in the short term. In case of conflict of interest among stakeholders within the basin, this study has also collected the identification of conflict from stakeholders’ opinion. Table 2 below presents the conflict of interests among stakeholders in the Indragiri sub basin.
Based on those identifications this study found a challenge to construct an institutional development for Indragiri sub basin by rationalizing the role of Balai PSDA and empowering the role of Provincial Water Council (DDSDA) into an integrated institutional development.
The Institutional Development for Indragiri Sub-basin Management
Basically, the concept of role sharing in water resource management is a practical concept of “water governance”. According to UNDP (2001) and GWP (2002), conceptually “water governance” is the exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country’s affairs at all levels. Here, the concept of governance is larger than the concept of government as the entity of political decision making. It comprises the mechanisms, processes and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interest, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences.
By bringing in the above conceptual framework on water governance and considering the existing issues of water managemet and conflict of interest among stakeholders within the basin, there are three points of the institutional development for Indragiri sub basin proposed below:
- Linkage among stakeholders in water management
- Rationalisation the role of Balai PSDA
- The principles of role sharing in water management within the basin
Linkage among stakeholders in water management
The concept of new policy of water resources was explicitly explored in one specific program called Water Sector Adjustment Program (WATSAP) that basically follows the concept of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) (See Sudharta, 2002, Anshori, 2003). In order to facilitate all stakeholders in decision-making process of water resource management within one river basin, the institutional framework of water management is drawn as seen of Figure 4 .
The national policy of this institutional framework is a main reference for the institutional development at each province. The Provincial Water Council or Dewan Daerah SDA should perform its existence by facilitating all stakeholders (including users, developers, regulators and operators) in the decision making process before it was formally stated by the regulator (Governor, District Headman, or Head of Dinas PSDA). The Balai PSDA should only perform as the operator of each regulation made by the regulator.
Therefore, for the Indragiri sub basin, the institutional development activities to enforce effective water governance are:
- Establishing Water Council for sub basin level or called Dewan Daerah Wilayah Sungai that facilitate all stakeholders within this basin in the decision making process related to water resource management and development.
- Since the area of this sub basin is relatively large, sub-sub committee could be established at each hot-spot issue within the basin. These sub committees are representative members at the Dewan Daerah Wilayah Sungai.
- District government within the basin should be enforced to declare their regional regulations related to this institutional development.
Rationalization the role of Balai PSDA
As mentioned earlier, the existing Balai PSDA could not function effectively for all aspects of duties as stated in Kepmendagri 179/1996. Considering the current issues of water management in the region and the availability of human resources, for the short term, the Balai PSDA should prioritize its activities.
- The management of inter-district irrigation systems
- The management of water allocation along the river courses
- The management of hydrological data
This rationalization was also considered in the last workshop (Lokakarya) conducted by the Directorate General of Water Resources, Department of Kimpraswil in Bogor, 13 December 2003. The workshop has announced the conclusion of the function of Balai PSDA as follow:
- the information center of water resources
- the prime mover of coordination among stakeholders
- public services for water resource management
The concept of role sharing in water resource management
In general, there are two principles toward effective water governance (see Helmi, 2003):
- from approaching side: it must be transparence, inclusive and communicative, coherence and integrated, equitable and ethical, and
- from the operational side: accountable (executive and legislative), efficient (economically, politically, socially and environmentally), responsive and sustainable.
These two principles are applied to specifically identify the basic concept of role sharing concept of water management for the Indragiri subbasin.
The basic concept of role sharing in inter-district irrigation management
- Balai PSDA is responsible to give the technical recommendation for any efforts of interdistrict irrigation development that may influence the condition of water supply and demand, the quality of water, and changes of river infrastructures.
- Although the authority for infrastructure development of inter-district irrigation systems is at the provincial level (Dinas PSDA), the technical implementation of the development must be given to the relevant agencies at the district level. Dinas PSDA may act as the coordinator of this technical implementation.
- The Legal Permissions for new exploitation of irrigation water are given after having the technical recommendation from the Balai PSDA. The relevant government agencies at the district level prepare the documents to be considered.
- In term of irrigation water allocation and management, Balai PSDA may assign its own field officer that responsible to control and record the water withdrawal pattern at the irrigation headwork.
The basic concept of role sharing in water allocation systems
- Balai PSDA is the prime mover in facilitating the establishment of sub-sub committe of water council within the subbasin.
- Dinas PSDA is responsible to assist any efforts done by Balai in facilitating the regional regulation at the district level.
- The Legal Permission for new water resource exploitation from the river or other water sources within the basin are given after having the technical recommendation from the Balai PSDA. The relevant government agencies at the district level prepare the documents to be considered.
- The Legal Permission of the resource exploitation at the catchment area within the basin are given after having the technical recommendation from the Balai PSDA and the Badan Pengelola DAS (under the Department of Forestry).
The basic concept of role sharing in hydrological data management
- Balai PSDA as a technical unit of Dinas PSDA should be given a full responsibity for hydrological data management.
- Balai PSDA should be functioned as the center of information of water resources.
Agenda for Further Studies
Considering the existing condition of Balai PSDA Kuantan Indragiri as the center institution for promoting Integrated Water Resource Management in the Indragiri Subbasin, there are several specific agenda for further studies to assist Balai PSDA.
- Action Research for Institutional Development, especially in creating the regional regulation to establish the consensus of role sharing among stakeholders within the subbasin and facilitating the establishment of sub-sub committee of water council.
- Modelling of Water Allocation System within the sub basin. This study should be done in a collaborative work with the personnel of Balai in the “Learning Process” pattern. It includes database management, hydrological analysis for multiple purposes, and creating a computer program for water allocation model.
- Study of Economic Value of Water for promoting the economic perspective of water resource management within the basin.
Anonimus, 2003. “Rumusan Hasil Lokakarya Tantangan Pengembangan Balai PSDA”. Diselenggarakan oleh Direktorat Jenderal Sumberdaya Air di Bogor, 13 Desember 2003.
Febriamansyah, Rudi. 2003. “An Integrated Approach for Water Allocation in a Small River Basin”. PhD Dissertation, The University of Melbourne. Australia.
Sudharta, Hari. 2002. “Pembaharuan Kebijakan Pengelolaan Sumberdaya Air di Indonesia.” Makalah di presentasikan pada Seminar Nasional Kelembagaan Efektif dalam Pengelolaan Sumberdaya Air, di Bukit Tinggi, 5-7 Mei 2002
Anshori, Imam2003. “Tugas dan Fungsi Balai PSDA dalam Pengelolaan Sumberdaya Air”. Makalah dipresentasikan dalam Sosialisasi Kelembagaan Balai PSDA di Sumatera Barat. Padang 14 Oktober 2003.
Helmi. 2003.”Role Sharing dalam Pengelolaan Sumberdaya Air”. Makalah dipresentasikan dalam Sosialisasi Kelembagaan Balai PSDA di Sumatera Barat. Padang 14 Oktober 2003.