Water Distribution System

Improvement of agricultural yield by building an irrigation network, Indonesia


This project focuses on 10 agricultural cooperatives on the slopes of the (inactive) Merbabu volcano. Their association protects their interests, coordinates, mediates and ensures their access to seeds, biological pesticides and fertilizers. The farmers in this area benefit from the fertile soil around the volcanoes and cultivate mainly rain-fed vegetables, for which there is no other water supply but rain. This inhibits all year round production. The water shortage and the unpredictability of wet or dry seasons is the largest threat to sustainable agriculture. As the drought persists and natural springs are not being employed, the agricultural production is more at risk and the family income drops, increasing poverty and food insecurity. 

Recent causes of water scarcity:

  • Changing and deviant seasons
  • Logging: the forested slopes of the volcano traditionally comprised various types of hardwood. This has been chopped down (by order of the government) and replaced by pine for resin production purposes. The original forests absorbed significantly more water than pine forests do
  • Population growth and increased agricultural production


This project focuses on 10 agricultural cooperatives with a total of 252 members. These farmers have identified 11 springs, which supply sufficient water throughout the year. They have defined how these springs can be connected to existing and also 6 new water supply networks (6 villages, 9 hamlets) through various pipelines. A local partner of CORDAID will not only supervise the construction of 36 km of pipelines, but also train the farmers in their maintenance and repair. Beside water management, improvement of agricultural methods will also be included in the programme.


By constructing and maintaining a community managed water distribution system, agricultural cooperatives can enhance their productivity in a sustainable manner. This allows them to increase their crop yield for the local market, thus improving their income. This initiative means:

  • Improved access to water for 916 households
  • Increase in revenue through augmented and improved crop yield
  • Increased resilience with regard to natural disaster

Project Initiator



Food Security

Type of Support






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