Clean, fresh water is a valuable natural resource that ensures the survivability of the nation. Despite having 6% of the world’s water resources, Indonesia’s management and environmental policies have not only been raising concerns but also pushed the country to the brink of water crisis (“Indonesia’s water and sanitation crisis”). In their 2019 study, Rahim and Soeprobowati aimed at finding an answer to the following research question: “What is the water pollution index of Batujai, the largest water reservoir in Lombok (219)?” This article review will provide the highlights of their research and discuss its implications.
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Methods and Research Design
The choice of research methodology is justified by two facts. First, Rahim and Soeprobowati employed purposive randomized sampling of the water surface of Batujai reservoir at five sampling stations. Second, the water samples were taken and processed in compliance with the Indonesian National Standard (SNI 6989.57–2008) regarding the Method of Taking Surface Water Samples (Rahim and Soeprobowati 220).
The guidelines provided in Government Regulation No. 82/2001 concerning Management of Water Quality and Water Pollution Control were used as the reference point for sufficient water quality and for comparison to expose deviations (Rahim and Soeprobowati 220). Composite depth was generated by mixing the water samples from the surface and the bottom. The samples were later analyzed at the Analytical Chemistry Laboratory of Mathematics and Natural Sciences Faculty, Mataram University.
Results and Findings
The findings of the study pertain to its rationale, and the authors succeeded in answering the research question. As expected, the water quality in Batujai Reservoir leaves a lot to be desired. While the average water temperature was found to be within the norm, the researchers were not quite satisfied with the total suspended solids (TSS) contents in the water (Rahim and Soeprobowati 223).
A higher concentration of TSS around the sampling station established at an elevation showed that the flow carries TSS from upstream erosion areas. The measurement results for dissolved oxygen fell below the first class national standards, and so did the contents of phosphates in the water. What the researchers found the most concerning of all is the alarming concentration of heavy metals that exceeded the first, second, and third class national standards (223).
Discussion and Implications
Rahim and Soeprobowati concluded that the water was heavily polluted according to the first, second, and third class standards and moderately polluted by the fourth class standards (224). The findings of the study have the potential to start a serious conversation on the water management policy in Indonesia. It is evident that the quality of Batujai reservoir akin to many other water resources needs to be addressed, but it might not be possible while formally, it stays within the national norm. The problem could be avoided, or its severity could be assuaged in the first place were the government more involved with water management. The growing microfinance sector reaching out to poor households could also be more environmentally aware and collaborate with the government.
The Southeast Asian country suffers from poor water quality and limited access to water supply. Given the challenges faced by Indonesia, it is imperative to raise national awareness by examining the cleanliness of remaining water reservoirs and taking measures accordingly. A recent study by Rahim and Soeprobowati showed that while Batujai reservoir might be objectively heavily polluted, the quality was still compliant with the fourth class national standards. The issue cannot be left untackled and requires heavy government control and involvement.
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“Indonesia’s Water and Sanitation Crisis.” water.org, n.d. Web.
Rahim, Abdul, and Tri Retnaningsih Soeprobowati. “Water Pollution Index of Batujai Reservoir, Central Lombok Regency-Indonesia.” Journal of Ecological Engineering, vol. 20, no. 3, 2019, pp. 219-225. Web.