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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Amazing Irrigation System Bali

Subak is the name of water management (irrigation) system for paddy fields on Bali island, Indonesia. For Balinese, irrigation is not simply providing water for the plant's roots, but water is used to construct a complex, pulsed artificial ecosystem. Paddy fields in Bali were built aroundwater templesand the allocation of water is made by a priest.
Subak had been described by Clifford Geertz, but it was J. Stephen Lansing who drew attention to the importance of the traditional system. He was studying Balinese temples, focusing on the water temples, whose importance tended to be overlooked by foreigners. In 1987 Lansing worked with Balinese farmers and agriculture officials to develop computer models of the subak, demonstrating its effectiveness. Officials finally acknowledged its importance.
On June 2012, Subak has eventually been enlisted as a UNESCO world heritage site. Cultural Landscape of Bali: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy forms a cultural landscape of five rice terraces and their water temples that cover 19,500 hectares. The temples are the focus of a cooperative water management system of canals and weirs, known as subak, that dates back to the 9th century. Included in the landscape is the 18th-century Royal Temple of Pura Taman Ayun, the largest and most impressive architectural edifice of its type on the island. The subak reflects the philosophical concept of Tri Hita Karana, which brings together the realms of the spirit, the human world and nature. This philosophy was born of the cultural exchange between Bali and India over the past 2000 years and has shaped the landscape of Bali. The subak system of democratic and egalitarian farming practices has enabled the Balinese to become the most prolific rice growers in the archipelago despite the challenge of supporting a dense population.
Subak is a traditional irrigation system that binds Balinese agrarian society together within the village's Bale Banjar community center and Balinese temples. The water managements is under the authority of the priests in water temples. However since late 20th century, Bali with its unique and rich culture has attracted travellers and tourist worldwide. It has become the crown jewel of Indonesian tourism. Subsequently the Balinese people's way of live and economy has shifted from mainly depends on agrarian and rice farming activity to tourism services. As the result, tourism facilities such as resorts and hotels has encroached deep into Balinese villages and paddy fields. Recently, about 1,000 hectares of paddy fields are converted into tourist facilities and housing annually which threatened the Subak system.
Source: Wikipedia

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