• 15/11/23

Land and Forest Fire Alert, Groundwater Supply Survey Conducted in Three Zones

  • Climate
  • News
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The rich biodiversity of peat ecosystems requires sufficient water to maintain the balance. Peat is an important habitat for a variety of rare and endemic plant and animal species, and loss or reduction of water availability and supply may result in its destruction, threatening the survival of peatland-dependent species.  Peatlands with sufficient water supply play an important role in balancing the flow of water and preventing floods and droughts. Dry peatlands are highly vulnerable to fires (karhutla), which expedites the oxidation process and causes the release of significant amounts of carbon, contributing to global warming.

In March and April 2023, PT Rimba Makmur Utama (RMU) conducted a survey and mapping of groundwater basins to identify the potential presence of groundwater in working areas. This survey focused on areas with a high risk of becoming a hotspot during the dry season, especially in the situation of El Nino. These critical areas are in the Seranau District, Pulau Hanaut District, East Kotawaringin Regency; and Mendawai District, Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan.

Mapping and data collection on the presence of groundwater are intended to increase the preparedness of the RMU and the community in handling forest and land fires. This mapping also supports the health program of staff and communities assisted by RMU in meeting the needs of clean water supply and drinking water, as well as helping the needs of productive agriculture in the RMU Business Development program and other effective economic programs being developed.

The scope of the groundwater survey combines three technical areas: geology, hydrology, and geophysics. For the field of geophysics, the survey uses the geoelectric method, which is being used for the first time by RMU. This technical survey is also aimed at identifying the quality of groundwater, especially for consumption and agriculture needs.  "After knowing the potential source of water, we drill wells in the concession area, which is very useful in preventing forest and land fires," explained Fauzi, Mendawai Zone staff.

RMU Hydrology Technical Staff, Hendri Saleh, hopes this survey can be carried out at other points and zones because it is very important, especially for residents receiving assistance. "In some villages, the quality of the water is insufficient for consumption, and people are still dependent on rainwater. Another hope is that we have valid data on the water needs of the community so that we can ensure the continuous flow of water all year long."

The technical guidance from the staff of the surveyor company has given meaning, knowledge, and experience to everyone involved, including zone staff and various divisions at RMU. "Positive interactions between staff across zones and fields helps with learning new things, improving existing knowledge, and adding new experiences that are in line with RMU's vision and values. Through this activity, staff are more aware of the importance of preserving water in peat areas and the potential of groundwater as a source of water for forest and land fire prevention, domestic clean water supply, and water supply for agricultural/plantation needs," concluded Lilik Trimaya, WASH Consultant.

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