Riverbank Hydrochemistry, Dasapta Erwin Irawan @dasaptaerwin: GeoProject Series

NAME:  Dasapta Erwin Irawan

BIO: Dasapta Erwin Irawan was born and completed his whole education in Indonesia. He finished his PhD about hydrochemistry in the volcanic area in 2009. He works at Institut Teknologi Bandung. His research interests are: hydrochemistry and multivariate analysis. He loves to learn open source apps and how scientific people interact with each other and share their work. For more contribution to open science, he is serving as ORCID and Center for Open Science ambassador.

PROJECT SUMMARY: My current research is focusing in Cikapundung riverbank, the main river stream that flows across Bandung City (West Java, Indonesia). Using multivariate statistics, I try to classify the water samples based on the hydrochemical properties and to identify interaction between groundwater and river water along this riverbank. I use several statistical approaches with R software as the main tool. This project started in 1997 using the manual analogue mapping technique. After a long hiatus, I started the project again intensely in 2013. In 2014, I went to the University of Sydney (Faculty of Agriculture and Environment) under the supervision of Dr. Willem Vervoort to apply some statistical approach in the model, using open source software “R”. The additional skill is very useful in my line of work, and I have used it in every project that I have worked on since.

LINKEDIN: Dasapta Erwin Irawan

TWITTER: @dasaptaerwin





What’s the purpose of your project?

The purpose of the project is to identify: (1) the interaction between groundwater and river water along the riverbank; (2) the possible contamination sources; and (3) the interaction between physical and ecological parameters with the status of public health, using the number of diarrhea cases in the community health centers (Puskesmas, Indonesia).

Cikapundung Riverbank, Indonesia. Photo copyright: Dasapta Erwin Irawan


Cikapundung Riverbank, Indonesia. Photo copyright: Dasapta Erwin Irawan

How are you setting up and testing your project?

I manage a flowing team of students, consisting of undergraduate and master students. We visit the same well point three times a year to take samples and take notes of the changes that occur around the well point. We measure the baseline condition of uncontaminated groundwater in the upstream and compare it with more water quality data in the downstream.

Any results yet?

Yes. The research is going as we have planned. Our preliminary results are: (1) we can identify the close connection between groundwater and river water; (2) more industries located along the riverbank have led to contamination. We need to be careful with such conditions; and (3) the state of contamination is getting worse without any precautions taken by the authorities.

What has been the most interesting/challenging?

The most interesting and challenging aspects of this research was the dissemination of the results to the community. We had to find more simpler ways to report the results.

How will this project help society?

This project has been presented in several community health centers along the river stream. Some posters and leaflets were also printed and given away to some kelurahans (Indonesian villages) in the area. With the intensive dissemination, hopefully we can add some information and understanding with the locals of carrier problems. This will increase awareness of the condition and understanding of the criteria of healthy water sources and unhealthy ones.

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