Chapter 4.1 Floods

Due to their high absorption and retention capacity, peatlands prevent flooding during the rainy season and release water in the dry season. Peatlands also play a key role in preventing sea water intrusion into the mainland.

Flooding due to the loss of peat’s hydrological function. © CIFOR

Peatlands can become a freshwater reserve to serve as a flood deterrent in the monsoons and a drought-mitigating reserve during the dry season. They can also prevent the intrusion of sea water into the mainland.

The stretch of areas defined as Peat Hydrological Areas (Kawasan Hidrologis Gambut or KHG) helps maintain hydrological balance, yet a breakdown in one part of the KHG can affect other parts.

If the hydrological function of peat or watershed areas is compromised, flooding occurs and can eventually threaten the sustainability of the agricultural activities of the surrounding communities.