Groundwater Exploitation Sinks Jakarta by 9 cm per Year

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  • ANTARA FOTO/Widodo S. Jusuf

    ANTARA FOTO/Widodo S. Jusuf

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Jakarta Environment Management Agency head Junaedi said that groundwater exploitation in Jakarta had caused soil degradation, sinking the city by 9 centimeters per year.

    “Therefore, stop using groundwater,” Junaedi told Tempo on Wednesday, March 23, 2016.

    The condition was predicted to be worsened as data from the agency revealed that the number of well drilling spots had been increasing over the last five years. In 2011, as much as 7.2 cubic meter of water had been exploited from 4,231 wells. The figure increased to 8.9 million cubic meter of water exploited from 4,473 wells in 2014.

    According to Junaedi, the city can turn water from rivers in the Capital into raw water by using a waste-water treatment technology. Moreover, the government could develop pipelines to distribute clean water to settlements, commercial areas, and industrial zones, so that people no longer use groundwater.

    Data from city-owned water operator PD PDAM Jaya showed that clean water pipe networks had reached 12.5 million Jakarta residents. Therefore, 5 million people are still using groundwater for their daily needs.

    Bance Simarmata, deputy director for technical and services at PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya (Palyja) said that water at the Jakarta’s West Flood Canal had potential to be processed into clean water. However, Bance explained that the water was polluted by household wastes and contained high level of ammonia. Therefore, Bance said that a water-treatment plant must be built at the canal.

    “We need supports in terms of permit and investment,” Bance added.

    The Jakarta Water Management Agency had planned to build more dams as water containment areas to prevent rainwater from flowing into the sea.

    “Therefore, people will no longer use groundwater,” Dedi Kunfriadi, head of groundwater and clean water at the Jakarta Water Management Agency, said.

    Firdaus Ali, water management observer from the University of Indonesia, said that Jakarta was sinking by 10-11 centimeters per year. By 2050, Firdaus said, the soil height at the National Monument (Monas) could be the same as today’s coast line if groundwater exploitation was maintained.