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Though it is now experiencing a prolonged drought, it is unlikely that Jakarta will suffer a water crisis, at least not before the end of the year, according to city-owned water company, PAM Jaya (PAM).
PAM’s president director, Sri Kaderi Widayanto, said the city was far from a crisis, given that the water level at the city’s main water source, the Jatiluhur Dam in Purwakarta, West Java, still measured 95.2 meters, far above the minimum level of 75 meters.
“Based on the assumption that the water level drops by around 20 centimeters per day, I believe that we have enough water until December,” he said on Thursday. “If, however, we get no rain until the end of the year, the Applied Technology and Research Agency (BPPT) and state-owned water supplier, Perum Jasa Tirta II, may induce rainfall to raise the water level.”
Sri Kaderi acknowledged that water supplies to some areas, mostly in West and North Jakarta, had been affected by the drought as they were located the farthest from the Jatiluhur dam. “I admit that our water supplies have decreased by 5 to 7 percent in the last two or three days due to the drought,” he said. “Hopefully, within the next three days we’ll get additional water supplies from Perum Jasa Tirta II.”
Besides seeking additional supplies, PAM is also preparing 46 emergency water trucks to distribute water to areas in dire need, Sri Kaderi said.
PAM’s private operator, PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya (Palyja), which serves areas in the west of the city, acknowledged that residents were suffering a lack of water.
“Normally, Palyja produces 8,200 liters of clean water per second. But, our capacity decreased by 8
to 10 percent two weeks ago because of a lack of water from the Jatiluhur dam, which has impacted 62 percent of our supplies,” said Palyja spokeswoman Meyritha Maryanie.
To offset the declining supplies, Palyja reactivated in June the defunct Water Treatment Facility in Taman Kota, West Jakarta. Meyritha said the Taman Kota treatment facility, which primarily serves Cengkareng in West Jakarta, produced 100 liters of clean water per second, still short of its maximum capacity of 150 liters, but enough to serve around 10,000 customers.
Palyja’s president director, Christophe Comte, said the facility began operating on June 25, after being closed in 2007 because the water was not clean enough. To address this problem, Palyja had incorporated new water-purification technology called Biofiltration, he said.
Through the reactivation of the Taman Kota facility, Sri Kaderi hopes the city’s own water levels increase to 5 percent from the current 3 percent. The city gets 85 percent of its water from the Jatiluhur dam and 12 percent from Tangerang, Banten.
To further ensure sufficient water supplies to the city’s western areas, Palyja is also planning to add 400 liters of water per second from Tangerang, according to Meyritha.
Tangerang itself, which gets its water from the Cisadane River that runs through the city, was also facing declining water supplies because of the drought, said the head of the regency’s water company, PDAM Tirta Kerta Raharja (TKR).
TKR’s president director, Raharja Rusdi Machmud, said the Bojong Renged Water Treatment Facility
in Teluk Naga had stopped operating due to a lack of water, leaving 8,000 customers without water as of Monday.
Unlike Perum Jasa Tirta, which induces rain to tackle dwindling water supplies, TKR is hoping for divine intervention to end the drought. “We held a mass prayer to ask God Almighty to make it rain,” said Raharja on Thursday, as quoted by kompas.com. (han)