The Jakarta Post
Jakarta Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama has said that he wants to treat water from the Ciliwung River, the longest river running through the capital city, to produce drinkable tap water.
'In this long dry season, water in the Ciliwung River still flows rapidly. It means the Ciliwung is a great water source for Jakarta,' said Ahok at City hall on Friday as reported by bertitajakarta.com.
Two private water operators in Jakarta, PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya (Palyja) and PT Aetra Air Jakarta (Aetra), currently rely on Jatiluhur dam in West Java for their raw water supply, which they then treat to produce Jakarta's tap water.
According to the operators, they could not use the heavily polluted water from rivers in Jakarta, including the Ciliwung, to produce drinking water because the treatment to render it drinkable would be too expensive.
The heavy pollution of city rivers has been caused by both domestic and commercial waste. It has become an open secret that many Jakartans, particularly those living near the rivers, use them as a dumpsite, while many local industries dump their water waste into them without proper treatment.
Ahok said his administration would continuously monitor the condition of the Ciliwung River to make sure that the quality of the water improved. 'We have to start using the Ciliwung River's water and therefore we need to [clean] it. The Ciliwung is a blessing for Jakarta, not a curse,' the governor added.
According to Ahok, the improvement of the Ciliwung River is being implemented by the city administration in cooperation with the central government, and includes the relocation of people living along the banks of the river to low-cost apartments.
He said that the improvement of the water quality in the river depended very much on the participation of all stakeholders, particularly residents living near the river. (bbn)(++++)
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