Water scarcity, mountain deforestation and the economic value of water in a small-scale irrigation system: A case study in East Java, Indonesia

Main Article Content

Subhan Arif Budiman
Mohammad Rondhi
Ahmad Fatikhul Khasan
Bagus Peratama
Rokhani Rokhani
Anik Suwandari
Julian Adam Ridjal
Soemarno Soemarno
Sugeng PriJono
Soedarto Soedarto


The purpose of this study was to identify the willingness of farmers to pay for small-scale irrigation (SSI) and its determinants. Additionally, this study analysed the physical water availability in the study area using 16 years’ (2004-2019) historical data of streamflow, rainfall and forest cover change. A structured questionnaire was used to collect the data from 100 farmers. A contingent valuation method was employed to elicit farmers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for irrigation water. The results show that the average WTP of farmers is US$ 215.84/ha/year. It accounts for 20% of farm revenue and is almost 20 times the water fee in large-scale irrigation systems. The study area experienced significant deforestation in the last two decades suffering a decrease of 11.72% of forest cover. It decreases the amount of stored rainwater and decreases the streamflow causing water scarcity during the dry season. Farm size, farmer income, distance to a small dam and usage of water-pump are the significant determinants. The results indicate that water scarcity caused by poor infrastructure increases the economic value of water in a SSI system.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Budiman, S. A., Rondhi, M., Khasan, A. F., Peratama, B., Rokhani, R., Suwandari, A., Ridjal, J. A., Soemarno, S., PriJono, S., & Soedarto, S. (2021). Water scarcity, mountain deforestation and the economic value of water in a small-scale irrigation system: A case study in East Java, Indonesia. Quaestiones Geographicae, 40(2), 153–166. https://doi.org/10.2478/quageo-2021-0015


  1. Aberra Y., 2004. Problems of the solution: Intervention into small-scale irrigation for drought proofing in the Mekele Plateau of northern Ethiopia. Geographical Journal 170(3): 226–237. DOI 10.1111/j.0016-7398.2004.00122.x.
  2. Agrawal A., 2001. Common property institutions and sustainable governance of resources. World Development 29(10): 649–1672. DOI 10.1016/S0305-750X(01)00063-8.
  3. Akrofi N.A., Sarpong D.B., Somuah H.A.S., Osei-Owusu Y., 2019. Paying for privately installed irrigation services in Northern Ghana: The case of the smallholder Bhungroo Irrigation Technology. Agricultural Water Management 216: 284–293. DOI 10.1016/j.agwat.2019.02.010.
  4. Araral E., 2009. What explains collective action in the commons? Theory and evidence from the Philippines. World Development 37(3): 687–697. DOI 10.1016/j.worlddev.2008.08.002.
  5. Bakopoulou S., Polyzos S., Kungolos A., 2010. Investigation of farmers’ willingness to pay for using recycled water for irrigation in Thessaly region, Greece. Desalination 250(1): 329–334. DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2009.09.051.
  6. Bozorg-Haddad O., Malmier M., Mohammad-Azari S., 2016. Estimation of farmers’ willingness to pay for water in the agricultural sector. Agricultural Water Management 177: 284–290. DOI 10.1016/j.agwat.2016.08.011.
  7. Breidert C., 2006. Estimation of willingness to pay: Theory, measurement, application. Deutscher Universitätsverlag, Germany. DOI 10.1007/978-3-8350-9244-0.
  8. Cecílio R.A., Pimentel, S.M., Zanetti, S.S., 2019. Modeling the influence of forest cover on streamflows by different approaches. Catena 178: 49–58. DOI 10.1016/j.catena.2019.03.006.
  9. Chandrasekaran K., Devarajulu S., Kuppannan P., 2009. Farmers’ willingness to pay for irrigation water: A case of tank irrigation systems in South India. Water 1(1): 5–18. DOI 10.3390/w1010005.
  10. Chervier C., Costedoat S., 2017. Heterogeneous impact of a collective payment for environmental services scheme on reducing deforestation in Cambodia. World Development 98: 148–159. DOI 10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.04.014.
  11. Colby B.G., Crandall K., Bush D.B., 1993. Water right transactions: Market values and price dispersion. Water Resources Research 29(6): 1565–1572. DOI 10.1029/93WR00186.
  12. Dash M., Behera B., 2015. Local institutions, collective action and forest conservation: The case of Similipal Tiger Reserve in India. Journal of Forest Economics 21(4): 167–184. DOI 10.1016/j.jfe.2015.09.001.
  13. Dash M., Behera B., 2018. Biodiversity conservation, relocation and socio-economic consequences: A case study of Similipal Tiger Reserve, India. Land Use Policy 78: 327– 337. DOI 10.1016/j.landusepol.2018.06.030.
  14. de Bont C., Komakech H.C., Veldwisch G.J., 2019. Neither modern nor traditional: Farmer-led irrigation development in Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania. World Development 116: 15–27. DOI 10.1016/j.worlddev.2018.11.018.
  15. Delos Reyes M.L., Schultz B., Prasad K., 2017. Diagnostic assessment approach for formulating a modernization strategy for small-scale National Irrigation Systems in the Philippines. Irrigation and Drainage 66(4): 542–555. DOI 10.1002/ird.2137.
  16. Ducrot R., 2017. Is small-scale irrigation an efficient pro-poor strategy in the upper Limpopo Basin in Mozambique? Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 100: 383–392. DOI 10.1016/j.pce.2016.06.001.
  17. FAO, 2017. The future of food and agriculture: Trends and challenges, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. DOI 10.4161/chan.4.6.12871.
  18. de Fraiture C., Giordano M., 2014. Small private irrigation: A thriving but overlooked sector. Agricultural Water Management 131: 167–174. DOI 10.1016/j.agwat.2013.07.005.
  19. Fujiie M., Hayami Y., Kikuchi M., 2005. The conditions of collective action for local commons management: The case of irrigation in the Philippines. Agricultural Economics 33(2): 179–189. DOI 10.1111/j.1574-0862.2005.00351.x.
  20. Giordano M., Barron J., Ünver O., 2019. Water scarcity and challenges for smallholder agriculture. Sustainable Food and Agriculture 75–94. DOI 10.1016/b978-0-12-812134-4.00005-4.
  21. Giordano M., de Fraiture C., 2014. Small private irrigation: Enhancing benefits and managing trade-offs. Agricultural Water Management 131: 175–182. DOI 10.1016/j.agwat.2013.07.003.
  22. Hassan M.U., Qureshi A.S., Heydari N., 2007. A proposed framework for irrigation management transfer in Iran: Lessons from Asia and Iran. International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Sri Lanka.
  23. Hill J., 2013. The role of authority in the collective management of hill irrigation systems in the Alai (Kyrgyzstan) and Pamir (Tajikistan). Mountain Research and Development 33(3): 294–304. DOI 10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-12-00127.1.
  24. Hill J.K.W., 2017. Supporting farmer-managed irrigation systems in the Shigar valley, Karakorum: Role of the government and Aga Khan Rural Support Programme. Journal of Mountain Science 14(10): 2064–2081. DOI 10.1007/ s11629-017-4496-7.
  25. Jaghdani T.J., Brümmer B., 2016. Determinants of willingness to pay for groundwater: Insights from informal water markets in Rafsanjan, Iran. International Journal of Water Resources Development 32(6): 944–960. DOI 10.1080/07900627.2015.1133405.
  26. Kamwamba-Mtethiwa J., Weatherhead K., Knox J., 2016. Assessing performance of small-scale pumped irrigation systems in sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from a systematic review. Irrigation and Drainage 65(3): 308–318. DOI 10.1002/ird.1950.
  27. Knapp T., Kovacs K., Huang Q., Henry C., Nayga R., Popp J., Dixon B., 2018. Willingness to pay for irrigation water when groundwater is scarce. Agricultural Water Management 195: 133–141. DOI 10.1016/j.agwat.2017.10.013.
  28. Lam W., 1996. Improving the performance of small-scale irrigation systems: The effects of technological investments and governance structure on irrigation performance in Nepal. World Development 24(8): 1301–1315. DOI 10.1016/0305-750X(96)00043-5.
  29. Liu N., Harper R.J., Smettem K.R.J., Dell B., Liu S., 2019. Responses of streamflow to vegetation and climate change in southwestern Australia. Journal of Hydrology 572: 761– 770. DOI 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2019.03.005.
  30. Lopus S., McCord P., Gower D., Evans T., 2017. Drivers of farmer satisfaction with small-scale irrigation systems. Applied Geography 89: 77–86. DOI 10.1016/j.apgeog.2017.10.004.
  31. Luo F., Ma W., Sun C., Tian M., Zhou Y., 2017. Analysis of the performance of government investment and interventions to promote small-scale irrigation works in China’s major grain-producing areas-based on the two-step model of Malmquist-FGLS. Irrigation and Drainage 66(3): 293–304. DOI 10.1002/ird.2109.
  32. Mango N., Makate C., Tamene L., Mponela P., Ndengu G., 2018. Adoption of small-scale irrigation farming as a climate-smart agriculture practice and its influence on household income in the Chinyanja Triangle, Southern Africa. Land 7(2): 49. DOI 10.3390/land7020049.
  33. Mdemu M.V., Mziray N., Bjornlund H., Kashaigili J.J., 2017. Barriers to and opportunities for improving productivity and profitability of the Kiwere and Magozi irrigation schemes in Tanzania. International Journal of Water Resources Development 33(5): 725–739. DOI 10.1080/07900627.2016.1188267.
  34. Mengistie D., Kidane D., 2016. Assessment of the impact of small-scale irrigation on household livelihood improvement at Gubalafto District, North Wollo, Ethiopia. Agriculture 6(3): 27. DOI 10.3390/agriculture6030027.
  35. Molden D., 2013. Water for food water for life: A comprehensive assessment of water management in agriculture. Taylor & Francis Group. DOI 10.4324/9781849773799.
  36. Moyo M., van Rooyen A., Moyo M., Chivenge P., Bjornlund
  37. H., 2017. Irrigation development in Zimbabwe: Under standing productivity barriers and opportunities at Mkoba and Silalatshani irrigation schemes. International Journal of Water Resources Development 33(5); 740–754. DOI 10.1080/07900627.2016.1175339.
  38. Peña-Arancibia J.L., Bruijnzeel L.A., Mulligan M., van Dijk A.I.J.M., 2019. Forests as ‘sponges’ and ‘pumps’: Assessing the impact of deforestation on dry-season flows across the tropics. Journal of Hydrology 574: 946–963. DOI 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2019.04.064.
  39. Persson J., Prowse M., 2017. Collective action on forest governance: An institutional analysis of the Cambodian community forest system. Forest Policy and Economics 83: 70–79. DOI 10.1016/j.forpol.2017.06.008.
  40. Supriyatna M.A., Hasanah L., Gultom R., Susatyo D., Subehi M., Sulistiyowati H., Abdurachman A.A., Uliyah, 2014. Statistics of Agricultural Land 2009–2013. 216.
  41. Sheikh M.J., Redzuan M., Samah A.A., Ahmad N., 2016. Identifying sources of social capital among the farmers of the rural Sindh province of Pakistan. Agricultural Economics (Zemědělská Ekonomika) 61(4): 189–195. DOI 10.17221/144/2014-AGRICECON.
  42. de Sousa W., Ducrot R., Munguambe P., Bjornlund H., Machava A., Cheveia E., Faduco J., 2017. Irrigation and crop diversification in the 25 de Setembro irrigation scheme, Mozambique. International Journal of Water Resources Development 33(5): 705–724. DOI 10.1080/07900627.2016.1262246.
  43. Takayama T., Matsuda H., Nakatani T., 2018. The determinants of collective action in irrigation management systems: Evidence from rural communities in Japan. Agricultural Water Management 206: 113–123. DOI 10.1016/j. agwat.2018.04.031.
  44. Tang Z., Nan Z., Liu J., 2013. The willingness to pay for irrigation water: A case study in Northwest China. Global Nest Journal 15(1): 76–84.
  45. Tesfaye A., Bogale A., Namara R.E., Bacha D., 2008. The impact of small-scale irrigation on household food security: The case of Filtino and Godino irrigation schemes in Ethiopia. Irrigation and Drainage Systems 22(2): 145–158. DOI 10.1007/s10795-008-9047-5.
  46. Woodhouse P., Veldwisch G.J., Venot J.P., Brockington D., Komakech H., Manjichi Â., 2017. African farmer-led irrigation development: Re-framing agricultural policy and investment? Journal of Peasant Studies 44(1): 213–233. DOI 10.1080/03066150.2016.1219719.
  47. Young R.A., 2005. Determining the economic value of water: Concepts and methods. Resources for the future Washington DC, USA. ISBN: 1891853988’. Ecological Economics 831–832. DOI 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2006.09.031.
  48. Zeweld W., van Huylenbroeck G., Hidgot A., Chandrakanth M.G., Speelman S., 2015. Adoption of small-scale irrigation and its livelihood impacts in Northern Ethiopia. Irrigation and Drainage 64(5): 655–668. DOI 10.1002/ird.1938.