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Jakarta Post

Jakarta flood response: Beyond technical debate

  • Marwa


Yogyakarta   /   Sat, February 1, 2020   /  09:54 am
Jakarta flood response: Beyond technical debate Water world: Vehicles drive slowly along waterlogged streets in Grogol, West Jakarta, earlier last month. Floods hit the capital city and its neighbors over the New Year following prolonged heavy rainfall. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

It is easy to blame climate change for the devastating flood in Jakarta this year. However, the persistent and worsening flooding shows us that a deeper issue lies in Jakarta’s water governance that cannot be simply solved by technological fixes.

In 2018, the World Economic Forum declared Jakarta as the fastest sinking city in the world with an average sinking rate of 3 to 13 centimeters per year, three times higher than it was 20 years ago.

One of the identified causes was overextraction of groundwater, which accounts for 70 to 80 percent of land subsidence in Jakarta, while weak soil was another factor.

The city’s heavy reliance on groundwater is mainly due to a lack of access to piped water. Since it was installed back during the Dutch colonial era, the centralized water distribution network has neither served the majority of th...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.