Monday, September 06, 2004

Aqueduct to supply more water to Jakarta

Source: The Jakarta Post

Urip Hudiono, The Jakarta Post/Jakarta

The government is planning to build an aqueduct directly connecting the Jatiluhur reservoir in Purwakarta, West Java, to Cibubur, East Jakarta, as an alternative to the existing West Tarum Canal.

Minister of Settlements and Regional Infrastructure Soenarno said on Saturday that the construction of the aqueduct was urgently needed because the existing canal, which supplies 80 percent of water to the capital, had been deteriorating.

"Rapid development (of housing and industry) along the canal in the next five years will increase pollution levels in those areas and make the cost of purifying the water rise," he was quoted as saying by Antara, the government news wire, on Saturday.

The two foreign-owned tap water companies in Jakarta -- PT Thames PAM Jaya and PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya, which cooperate with city tap water operator PD PAM Jaya -- take their supply of raw water from West Tarum Canal. The canal is also used for irrigation purposes, as well as sewage disposal by households and business located along its banks.

Soenarno said the new 70-kilometer aqueduct would cost some Rp 600 billion (US$64.70 million) to build. The money will be allocated from the national budget and disbursed to Perum Jasa Tirta II, the Jatiluhur reservoir management company.

The government is also considering plans to a water treatment plant in either Jakarta or Jatiluhur. If it is done at the reservoir, Perum Jasa would be responsible for directly channeling the purified water to the capital.

The aqueduct will cross Cibeet River, Cikarang River, Bekasi River and Ciliwung River before ending at Cibubur.

Separately, Perum Jasa's technical director Sri Hernowo said in a recent seminar on tap water service that Jakarta required a separate drinking water aqueduct.

He also called on the city administration to look into other water resources to meet the city's demand, such as from the Ciliwung River, in order to optimize the supply from the Cisadane River in the west.

A five-year study by Perum Jasa has concluded the annual water demand, including for drinking, will reach 7.39 billion cubic meters by 2005 -- about than 96 percent of the reservoir's maximum capacity of 7.7 billion cubic meters.

The annual water demand will eventually increase to more than 8.6 billion cubic meters, which will far exceed the reservoir's capacity, even after a project to increase the capacity to 7.75 billion cubic meters is completed.

Jatiluhur, along with Saguling and Cirata reservoirs, can only utilize 60 percent of the Citarum River's capacity due to human damage.

"We have to seriously rehabilitate the condition of Citarum River's upstream sections, which have been adversely affected by deforestation as well as its downstream sections, which are clogged with pollution," Hernowo said.