Experts Leak Why Bandung Is the Fastest-sinking City



Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • The 2019 West Java Festival at Gedung Sate lasts on November 1-3. TEMPO/Anwar Siswandi

    The 2019 West Java Festival at Gedung Sate lasts on November 1-3. TEMPO/Anwar Siswandi

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Geodesy research team of Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) has revealed the results of its latest study that Bandung is considered as one of the fastest and widest-sinking cities in the world.

    The team's chief, Irwan Gumilar, said the research had been confirmed by foreign colleagues, and so there was no more scientific debate on the land subsidence in the region.

    “It has been agreed by geodesy and geology experts from both domestic and foreign campuses through scientific papers that subsidence is already happening,” said Irwan.

    One of the team members, Heri Andreas, outlined five factors of land subsidence. Heri mentioned land in an area could subside naturally or it could be triggered by tectonic activities.

    Additionally, land subsidence could also occur due to human factors, such as infrastructure development or embankment, groundwater withdrawal, as well as oil and gas exploitation. “The dominant factor is groundwater exploitation,” Heri underlined.

    Land subsidence is an indicator of damaged groundwater that leads to water crisis in Bandung. In 2050, the groundwater will run out and subsidence occurs,” he added.

    Several countries, including Bangkok, Singapore, and Mexico, have successfully tackled the problem. “Bangkok stopped extracting groundwater by 80 percent,” Heri said, adding that its government supplied the water needs.

    Other methods the government could resort to were creating water ponds, recycling water, and improving river conditions so that surface water could be used for public consumption, he said. Heri asserted that the government could take over water management for the people.