Bali has an age-old irrigation system which has over the centuries proven to be near perfect. It is called the ‘Subak’. The underlying philosophy guiding the ‘Subak’ system is harmony. Mutual agreements govern planting cycles, the division of water resources, the financial contribution of members, and the rights and responsibilities of members.
In the 1970s, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank attempted to ‘improve’ on the system by introducing the Bali Irrigation Project. Without consulting the locals, they introduced a new water distribution system and pesticides almost destroying its farming system. Since then, there has been a concerted effort to revive and fully reinstate the ‘Subak’ system.
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