By Muhammad Yazid – (Disertasi Doctor of Philosohy, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 2010), Chair: Professor Mad Nasir Shamsudin, PhD
Water management is a key factor in tidal lowland agriculture with three-fold objectives of improving water allocation, recovering costs, and achieving efficient water distribution. In order to achieve these objectives, water management infrastructures must be properly operated and maintained. Therefore, besides the established guidelines for operation and maintenance (OM), the availability of fund is required to carry out proper OM and ensure the achievement of water management objectives (WMO). OM is financed by both government and water users through water service fee (WSF). However, neither goverr~ment budget nor WSF is sufficient to finance OM at its respective level of water management. WSF is insufficient to finance OM at tertiary level since there is no reliable measures of WSF for which farmers are responsible to contribute.
Tlie mean WTP for WSF is Rp 204,680 per hectare, whereas total WTP per water management unit (256 hectares) is Rp 52,398,080. WTP for WSF is significantly affected by the bidding price, water service, frequency of fee payment, and income. Actual WTP for WSF is Rp 102,530 per hectare and is sigr~ificantly affected or~ly by income. Both estiniated WTP for WSF and actual WTP for WSF indicate that the achievement of water management objective is limited to the improvement of water distribution.
This study concludes ,that water service should be employed in crop production in tidal lowlands. In addition, WSF should be collected to ensure proper OM of tidal irrigation. Efforts to increase farm income should also be directed through optimum use of labor, chemicals, and fertilizers in order to realize farmers’ WrP for WSF as well as to increase current WSF payment.
This study recommends that WSF as one of farmer’s responsibility mandated in Water Resource Law be implemented based on the objective valuation using either the cost of water delivery or the value of water service in crop production. The amount of WSF should be adjusted to the water management objective to be achieved. Water users association (WUA) should be given authority to manage the collected WSF.