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Bali Island Irrigation System (SUBAK) -- a Heritage of a Sustainable Hydraulics Environment

Author(s): Pujianiki N N; R Triatmadja; D Legono; F Nurrochmad

Linked Author(s): Radianta Triatmadja

Keywords: Subak; Irrigation; Heritage; Culture; Paddy; Appropriate technology; Hydraulics

Abstract: Irrigation system has been practiced for a long time in Indonesia. One of the traditional system that is well preserved in Bali Islandis calledsubak. A subak is a social-religious communal organization of farmers as well asits irrigation system in Bali that has been existed for a very long time. In Jatiluwih village, the system is almost such as it was originally developed for more than a thousand years. The sustainable system has been awarded UNESCO's world heritage. It is interesting to note that the community has been able to manage the system traditionally. The system that is strongly attached to the sociocultural and religious values of the community has made the management very effective to sustain both the system and the environment. In terms of hydraulic structures, the irrigation system is simple. A lot of the original structures (non-engineered or made of wood) have been upgraded by the government with permanent structures. However the irrigation network is largely unchanged. A number of tunnels that were built hundreds of years ago still remain and in operational. Such tunnels have undergone minor renovation. This engineering artifact indicates that the subak is not merely social system and environment heritage but also hydraulics engineering heritage. Today, subak faces a number of challenges that need more government commitment to overcome. In this paper a short review of subakas a heritage of sustainable hydraulics environment is presented based on literatures and a field surveytoa number of subaks in Bali Indonesia.


Year: 2016

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