Groundwater-extracting rice production in the rejoso water-shed (Indonesia) reducing urban water availability: Characterisation and intervention priorities

Ni Matul Khasanah*, Lisa Tanika, Lalu Deden Yuda Pratama, Beria Leimona, Endro Prasetiyo, Fitri Marulani, Adis Hendriatna, Mukhammad Thoha Zulkarnain, Alix Toulier, Meine Van Noordwijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Production landscapes depend on, but also affect, ecosystem services. In the Rejoso watershed (East Java, Indonesia), uncontrolled groundwater use for paddies reduces flow of lowland pressure-driven artesian springs that supply drinking water to urban stakeholders. Analysis of the water balance suggested that the decline by about 30% in spring discharge in the past decades is attributed for 47 and 53%, respectively, to upland degradation and lowland groundwater abstraction. Consequently, current spring restoration efforts support upland agroforestry development while aiming to reduce lowland groundwater wasting. To clarify spatial and social targeting of lowland interventions five clusters (replicable patterns) of lowland paddy farming were distinguished from spatial data on, among other factors, reliance on river versus artesian wells delivering groundwater, use of crop rotation, rice yield, fertiliser rates and intensity of rodent control. A survey of farming households (461 respondents), complemented and verified through in-depth interviews and group discussions, identified opportunities for interventions and associated risks. Changes in artesian well design, allowing outflow control, can support water-saving, sustainable paddy cultivation methods. With rodents as a major yield-reducing factor, solutions likely depend on more synchronized planting calendars and thus on collective action for effectiveness at scale. Interventions based on this design are currently tested.

Original languageEnglish
Article number586
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • Artesian wells
  • Ecosystem services
  • Landscape approach
  • Mount Bromo-Tengger
  • Oryza
  • Paddy cultivation
  • Restoration
  • Rodents
  • Sustainable intensification
  • Water balance


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