Ecohydrology is a Solution for Drought in NTT

Senior researcher of the Research Center of Limnology Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Ignatius Dwi Atmana Sutapa, said that together with UNESCO Jakarta Office, Research Center of Limnology (LIPI), Universitas Timor (Unimor) NTT and TTU District Government, held National Workshop and Roundtable Meeting: Integrated Water and Environment Management Support for Sustainable Water Resources Conservation in Nusa Tenggara Timur.

To further introduce the concept of ecohydrology for the people of NTT. This event was held for two days on 18 to 19 October 2016 at Livero Hotel, Timor Tengah Utara (TTU) district, Nusa Tenggara Timor (NTT) is one of the provinces in Indonesia that has the potential to suffer drought disaster. So, Dwi said, the solution to overcome is it needs specific approach such as ecohydrology. Dwi explained, ecohydrology is one concept of water and environmental maintenance that is done in an integrated manner. This approach can be defined as the concept of water resources maintenance by considering the hydrological, ecological, and biota environments that affect the dynamics of water availability in the environment, so that the impact is environmental sustainability. If this approach running well, the environmental management and water conservation in NTT and especially TTU district will certainly run well and be able to overcome the drought, said Dwi.

Executive Director of the Asia Pacific Center for Ecohydrology United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (APCE UNESCO) said that, in addition to maintaining the hydrological environment, biota and ecosystems, also through raising awareness and dissemination to the community about the importance of ecohydrology for integrated water and environmental management.

According to him, almost all regions in the province that consist of 22 districts with a total area of 48,718.1 km2 are experiencing drought due to the short rainy season and the occurrence of the El Nino phenomenon with repeating cycles every two to seven years. One district affected by moderate until severe drought is Timor Tengah Utara district (TTU). Drought in the district besides causing the community to be unable to access clean water also causes long impacts, particularly health, food security and the environment.

The solutions, it need specific approach like ecohydrology. Therefore, through the workshop, the concrete steps of implementation will be formulated that can provide solutions related to problems of drought and management of water resources in TTU district specifically and NTT in general. The workshop participants are various academics, central and local government institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as the private sector and related stakeholders.