Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Huge Increase in Water Tariff
Fresh water supply is one of the worse public service in Jakarta, whereby the Quantity is insufficient & unstable, Quality is hard to judge, but the Tariff is high.
Due to these facts, so many households, commercial places and factories in Jakarta are using groundwater. Even those who subscribed fresh water from the operator PAM Jaya also use groundwater as alternative so as to guarantee the continuous supply of water.
The Jakarta Globe quoted the head of Jakarta Environment Management Agency (BPHLD) Peni Susanti as saying that 53% of the water used in Jakarta is groundwater. This situation has caused several area in Jakarta to face critical groundwater conditions, whereby water are pumped from depths of minimum 16 meters, such as in East Jakarta’s Pulogadung, Matraman, Pasar Rebo, Duren Sawit and Ciracas, and South Jakarta’s Tebet and Pasar Minggu.
Even other area where water can still be found at a depth of 8 meters to 12 meters, are prone to imminent water crisis. Included in those areas are West Jakarta’s Kembangan and parts of Kebon Jeruk, Central Jakarta’s Tanah Abang, Menteng and Senen, and Cakung in East Jakarta.
According to Jakarta's official web site Berita Jakarta, the result of research by BPHLD shows that the average groundwater level was now at around 40 meters deep, and that the city would face a groundwater crisis in the next few years.
In order to prevent such crisis, the government has issued a Gubernatorial Decree No. 37 Year 2009 regarding the Increase of Groundwater Tariff. The tariff for wealthy Households would be increased more than 16times from Rp 525 per cubic meter to Rp 8,800 per cubic meter, and for Industries the tariff will be increased more than 6 times from Rp 3,300 per cubic meter to Rp 23,000 per cubic meter. The government will start socializing the Decree next week.
The huge increase in tariff would surely impact the usage of groundwater officially. But considering that water is vital for the 11 million citizens of Jakarta, I am not sure whether such tariff increase would really stop actual (and legitimate) pumping of groundwater. Therefore, it would better if PAM Jaya could increase its fresh water supply capacity. Besides, license should be given to private companies to recycle water. Otherwise, water crisis would be inevitable in the future.
Photo: courtesy of BigFoto