The increasing demand for water and limited degree of cost recovery for irrigation water delivery are important challenges for policymakers in Indonesia. To meet the increasing demand for water, it is important to reduce water use in irrigated paddy cultivation, long the dominant consumptive user, and to divert water away from agriculture to domestic and industrial sectors. Reducing water use in irrigated agriculture can be achieved through various means, including rationing, improved user management, and water markets. The appropriate method depends on the situation specific to each basin. In the Brantas Basin in East Java, rationing is already practiced, but often leaves the non-licensed, (non-paying) irrigators with insufficient supplies. Moreover, very low irrigation service fee recovery rates hamper ongoing water sector reforms, which seek to strengthen the capacity of local institutions to co-manage water resources. In the Brantas Basin the average value of water in the production of important irrigated crops substantially exceeds estimated water supply costs and current ISF. However, increased water use fees would impose a substantial burden on farm economic welfare, while water savings would be relatively modest. Therefore, to conserve water and enhance the financial autonomy of irrigators alternative management systems are proposed, including ‘Integrated Crop and Resource Management’ and a water brokerage mechanism.
case study of the Brantas River Basin
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)