The reduced absorption of the Kapuas River indicates environmental damage

The reduced absorption of the Kapuas River indicates environmental damage The participants of the action to clean up the Kapuas River are picking up trash in the river using canoes and nets. Photo by: ANTARA/HO-Humas Pontianak

Source: ANTARA
Date: April 27, 2022

Pontianak (ANTARA) - Professor of Civil Engineering at Tanjungpura University (Untan) Pontianak, Prof. Henny Herawati, believes that the silting or drought in the Kapuas River is an indication of environmental damage in West Kalimantan Province.

"This is because the land conversion has significantly reduced the rainwater runoff catchment area," Henny said in Pontianak, Tuesday.

According to Henny, signs of climate change in West Kalimantan can be seen through changes in river flow. In a study conducted in Sanggau, in 2015 it was found that there were significant changes in the Kapuas River watershed.

The water discharge of the Kapuas River during the research in March 2015 was still high. The conditions changed drastically around November which showed the river silting up due to drought.

"One of the signs of climate change is marked by changes in river flow. In September 2015 we can walk (on the Kapuas River). It can even be made by local people as motorbike competitions and recreation," he said.

This shows a major change in forest conditions in the Kapuas River. The amount of vegetation is reduced so that rainwater runoff is directly dumped into the river.

This is indicated by high water discharge in the upstream of the Kapuas River and a drastic reduction in the downstream area.

"We cannot deny the condition of this water discharge that deforestation occurs which causes water runoff to become uncontrolled. As a result, changes occur in the Kapuas River watershed," he said.

Meanwhile, Director of the Indonesian Natural Kapital Foundation, Haryono said that the most visible sign of climate change in Pontianak was the occurrence of tidal flooding.

"Many parties do not believe in climate change because it is beyond our age range. So they feel it is a natural phenomenon that should have happened," he said.

In fact, said Haryono, temperature anomalies in Indonesia have occurred since the last research in 1981. Almost all regions in Indonesia experienced an increase in temperature.

"Climate change is 90 percent due to human activity. The temperature anomaly from 1981 to 2021, almost everything has increased in temperature compared to 1981 and climate change has occurred," he said.

Unfortunately, said Haryono, disasters caused by climate change are only responded to through disaster management. "There are no concrete steps taken by the government to mitigate disasters related to climate change. 

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